Aug. 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM ET
The military’s futuristic research arm has released this video of a scale model amphibious tank-like vehicle with air-filled treads that allow it to drive on water as well as on land.
While it looks burly, don’t expect it to be warfighting on the high seas anytime soon. That task will almost certainly be left to weapons-laden ships and subs. The Captive Air Amphibious Transporter is more like a delivery truck designed to haul supplies from ships to disaster zones onshore.
The air-filled treads keep the transporter afloat on water and are durable enough to keep rolling on land, allowing the swift deliver of supplies to earthquake victims, for example. At full scale, the transporter will be able to carry standard 20- or 40-foot shipping containers.
The Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform program is jointly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research, which is looking at the technology for potential use as amphibious transport for the Navy.
If it doesn’t work out, at least tour companies in watery places such as Seattle will have a replacement when their World War II Duck boats break down for good.
– via PopSci