US Marine Corps taps Birdon to develop heavy landing craft – H260
The US Marine Corps has selected Birdon’s heavy landing craft – H260 design to be part of a test and evaluation exercise focused on its missions.
The H-260, a long-range, shallow draft, independent vessel, shares a common lineage with Birdon’s proposed heavy landing craft for the Australian Army LMV-H.
It embodies Birdon’s extensive knowledge of the Indo-Pacific’s demanding area of operations, both sea states and landing conditions, and Birdon’s understanding of the US Marine Corps and Australian Defence Force littoral warfare concepts.
Looking outwardly similar to many oil and gas offshore support vessels, but with integrated signature reduction features, the 260-foot-long craft features a payload of 440 short tons, deck space of 8,000 square feet, the ability to accommodate 72 Marines and 26 crew.
It has a range of over 5,000 nautical miles, and a draft of only 6.5 feet allowing it to access a far larger proportion of beach and riverine offload locations than similar-sized vessels. The H-260 can adapt to a wide range of mission profiles and sustain multiple deployments.
The aft loading and forward enclosed ramps enable rapid load transfer while adding flexibility to cope with a wider range of landing sites. Its forward wheelhouse and accommodation are distanced from the noise and vibration of the propulsion systems, and combined with the proprietary bow, reduces pitching moment and accelerations on embarked personnel, all of whom have bunks, delivering an enhanced habitability.
The crews and commanders have extensive visibility for all operational activities.