BMT Defence Services Ltd, a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, has unveiled Caimen-200, its innovative new design for a fast, high capacity, highly flexible landing craft tank (LCT).

“Almost twice as fast as traditional LCTs, Caimen-200 marks a step-change in LCT design, technology, performance and capability,” says Duncan Whitrow, a senior business development manager at BMT Defence Services. “Whether it’s required for a major amphibious assault in difficult conditions, humanitarian aid or disaster relief, Caimen-200 is designed to provide a low-cost and low-risk way of achieving a higher rate of logistics flow with the same number of platforms.”

A mould-breaking, workable design

Nick Noel-Johnson, principal naval architect at BMT Defence Services and Caimen-200 project manager, says: “Caimen-200 is the latest of BMT’s InSpira designs, which aim to challenge conventional thinking and break the mould while providing workable, realistic solutions.”

Gavin Barlow, a senior engineer at BMT Defence Services and Caimen-200 project lead mechanical engineer, says: “We’ve drawn on our many years of experience gained as a design authority on UK landing craft, and on our thorough knowledge of real-world in-service challenges, to produce this innovative and impressively capable but robust, practical design.”

Much faster

Caimen-200’s sleeker hull form helps to give the design a top speed of over 16k, far faster than the 9k average attained by traditional, fully flat-bottomed LCTs. In addition to speed, Caimen-200’s advanced design gives her enhanced sea-keeping characteristics compared to similar vessels while retaining strength and durability.

More stable: active bow ramp

BMT has overcome the key design challenge in LCT design – the trade-off between speed and beached stability. In contrast to a traditional LCT, whose box-shaped hull provides stability when the bow of the vessel is grounded during loading and unloading operations, and where the front ramp is lowered under chains, Caimen-200 transfers the stability-giving function from the hull to the ramp.

Two electro-hydraulic rams force the ramp downwards into the landing beach, minimising roll and pitch. The ramp can support tanks and other vehicles of up to 60t at a time. Main and back-up systems ensure ramp reliability.

Heavy payloads: up to 200t

Caimen-200’s lower resistance bow section and more traditional flat-bottomed hull section further aft combine to give her speed, huge load-carrying capacity and a mean draught of only 2.3m, enabling her to get close in to a beach to discharge her payload. Caimen-200 can carry a total of 200t of vehicles and troops, including up to three main battle tanks or eight multi-purpose trucks – and can then quickly and safely land these forces.

Other characteristics

Main dimensions: length 68.5m, beam (waterline) 10m, depth mld 6.3m, and deep displacement 840t

Armament: two 12.7mm heavy machine guns, two 25mm cannons.

Communications: net-centric capable combat system, satellite communication, VHF, HF, X-band radar with ARPA capability.

Range: 1,075nm after each refuelling, allowing global expeditionary operations.

Power and propulsion: two MTU 16V 4000 M71 engines, two 250kW diesel generators, and two FPP.

Amphibious capability: active bow ramp and two kedge winches and anchors.

Accommodation for 25 crew and deck space for up to 260 troops.

Use of commercial-off-the-shelf equipment, reducing build and through-life costs.

Clients can choose specifications and options in areas such as: vessel size; accommodation and facilities for crew and embarked troops; propulsion, power and exhaust systems; weapons systems; and communication equipment.