Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and Gibbs Technologies will develop
a family of High Speed Amphibious (HSA) vehicles designed specifically
for military operations. The new vehicle will reduce the risk
of marines and Special Forces units by dramatically reducing
the sea-to-shore transition time. According to Rich Lockwood,
Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensor's vice president
for Mission Systems, "HSA minimizes that risk, allowing
forces to move safer and faster - and with capabilities that
make it a powerful asset in a net-enabled force."
The new vehicles will be based on Gibbs' amphibious vehicle
prototypes originally designed for the consumer market. Lockheed
Martin and Gibbs will enhance these designs integrating expeditionary
command and control capability, armor and weapons systems. Gibbs'
technology enables amphibians to travel at speeds over 45 mph
on water and over 100 mph on land - and to transition from water-to-land
or land-to-water in five seconds. These features provide a much
needed capability for military littoral, riverine and special
operations. The vehicles will have armor protection capability,
they will be equipped with network ability to share and distribute
information from onboard and remote sensors. The craft will
be able to accommodate a variety of weapons systems, based on
specific mission needs.
Gibbs and Lockheed Martin are developing three military concept
vehicles, representing a scalable capability to meet various
missions - the Amphibious Combat Craft -- Expeditionary (ACC-E),
a 20-foot amphibian capable 45 mph on the water and 80 mph on
land; The Amphibious Combat Craft - Riverine (ACC-R) is a 35-foot
amphibian capable of 40 mph on the water and 65 mph on land;
and the Terraquad, capable of over 55 mph on the water and 50
mph on land.
Alan Gibbs founded Gibbs Technologies in New Zealand in 1996.
Initial amphibian concept work was undertaken in 1997 and 1998
in Detroit. In 1999, excited by the technology, Neil Jenkins
merged his business to form Gibbs Technologies UK, of which
Gibbs Military Amphibian is a licensee. "
HSAs are high performance craft on the water, and high performance
vehicles on the ground and the transition between the two is
seamless," says Alan Gibbs, chairman of Gibbs Technologies.
"These are true amphibians, combining the best of both
worlds". Gibbs' commercial offerings, currently in prototype
stage, include the Aquada, a three-person sports car, Humdinga,
a four-wheel military vehicle, and Gibbs Quadski, an amphibious
all terrain vehicle.