LCAC - US Navy photo
 
In preparation for building the Trumpeter 1/72 model of an LCAC, these are some pictures from the US Navy showing the equipment in action and providing some excellent references for modelling it.
 
Originally designed inthe early 1970s, using the experience gained with the SRN5 used in Vietnam, the LCAC was funded for production in the early 1980s, with the first deliveries in 984 and Operational come 1986.  Eventually some 91 were built and these have since been going through a SLEP (Service Life Extension Programme) to add another 10 years operational life.  They are planned for replacement in 2019, by a new 'Ship to Shore Connector' (SSC), which is a development of this and is another air cushion craft, with a load capacity of 74 tons.
 
They are noisy and do generate a lot of spray or dust, and new skirts are designed to try and reduce that as best they can. Capable of speeds of 40knots fully loaded with 60 tons (so capable of carrying 1 Abrams or several smaller/lighter vehicles) and can reach speed of up to 70 knots given the right load and conditions, and with a range of between 200 and 300 miles depending on load etc..  They are said to be capable of landing on 70% of the world's shorelines, compared to just 15% that can be managed by conventional landing craft.
 
They operate from LHA, LHD, LSD and LPD warships, all those with a well-deck at the back.  There are also 8 sets of equipment for Mine Counteermeasures that were purchased to operate with these.
 
 
Use this link to see the
US Navy Fact File