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From the “Alligator” to the LCAC: How Amphibious Military Vehicles Evolved in Time

Written by Matteo Zanotti

In recent times, amphibious warfare returned to prominence, with many military operations around the world being conducted by amphibious troops. From D-Day to Ukraine, marines from different countries have a long history of successful deployment in war theatres, mainly due to their preparation and their capabilities. Readiness, flexibility, and cross-domain operativity are the basic features of amphibious units, which find themselves fighting in one of the most difficult types of warfare. Sea, land, air, space, and cyberspace are all fundamental domains to organising and carrying out a successful amphibious operation. For this reason, to operate in such a complex and multifaceted environment, amphibious units benefit from unique vehicles and assets that help them in their operations.

However, this paper will focus on amphibious military vehicles, going through their recent history, to explore their main features and examine their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, it will provide some insights into the latest developments and improvements for amphibious vehicles. To do so, NATO’s main amphibious forces are taken into consideration, namely the US, the UK, Spain, Italy, and France. However, in the end, some insights about China are also drawn.