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The Tactical Transporter (Right) has some unique features, not all shown on this conceptual layout. This design was intended to transport containerized cargo from near Kuwait to Baghdad along the Euphrates River. (Figure-6). Other rivers of interest included remote locations of the Amazon, Yangtzee, and Tigris or any river which offers greater protection than road travel due to enemy insurgent activities. (Watch the video)

Powered by Thrustmaster's patented Portable Dynamic Positioning System, hydraulic thrusters connected to a GPS control system of the customers choice, the system can be daisy chained to act as an independant but linked automated river transport system. Damaged units can be detached and set aside and the entire chain reconnected electronically to continue upriver.

Thrusters are protected by the surrounding hull of the barge. Water ballast tanks around the perimeter of the barge further serve to protect personnel and sensitive internal systems by absorbing the shock or penetration of small arms fire. These ballast tanks also allow the barge hull to be "sunk" to lower the air draft for bridges, and then to be lightened for shallow areas and faster speed.

Select Figure-4 for a PDF overview.

  1. Size - The vessel size was determined by several different concerns.
  2. Minimum size needed to carry 8ea 40' Cargo Containers or 16ea 20' Containers (Figure-2)
  3. Capable of being powered by 4ea 300hp Thrustmaster Hydraulic Azimuth/tilt thrusters currently under construction at the Thrustmaster facility in Houston, TX.
  4. Gantry Crane (Figure-3)
  5. Needed sufficient height to lift Cargo Container from a flat bed trailer.
  6. Needed X -Y to locate a container at each corner.
  7. Needed to be as low as possible for bridge clearances.
  8. Serves as protective mount for GPS and camera systems.
  9. Bulwarks - Welded Sheetpile (European Forged)
  10. Serves as rail mounting for gantry crane without the need for additional bracing.
  11. Provides small arms fire protection with internal polyurea ballistic coating.
  12. Chamfers reduce the amount of flat surface presented to small arms fire from bank side.
  13. Air and water drafts - (Explains massive ballast tanks)
  14. Needed to run in very shallow waters. Ripples seen in Figure-16 show shallows or underwater obstructions.
  15. Needed to clear low bridges. (Note the 5 bridges approaching Baghdad in Figure-11.
  16. Armament - 4ea .50 Cal.
  17. Can be manually fired (figures 2 and 3 of the basic barge system) or put into Fully Automatic mode and operated from within the central control room using camera sights.
  18. Obviously, only needed in hostile zones.
  19. Additional
  20. Internal and External Firefighting capabilities. (Use the high volume fast acting ballast pumps instead of separate fire pumps.)
  21. Insulated environment controlled Crews Quarters and Control Room below deck.
  22. Escape Hatches behind protective bulwarks.
  23. Operator access from topside control cabin to internal spaces without going on deck.
  24. Sufficient fuel/freshwater/supplies for entire trip plus surplus for delays and extended operations.

One thing of concern was for the enemy to disable a barge by hitting the thruster. This would be possible as shown with a configuration in Figure-5 which has become a standard arrangement for these thrusters. By surrounding the thruster head with the barges head log the thruster could be better protected. The grating cover would be able to handle any physical load the barge deck is designed for.

Other photo's of the Euphrates as taken by military personnel and satellite recon shows potential ambush points and a series of locks that would need to be negotiated (Figures-14 and 15).

Beginning in 2007 the author/3D conceptual artist began working directly for Thrustmaster. New information has recently been discovered that can be of greater benefit regarding this system. That informaiton is not contained herein.

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Figure 4 - PDF
Figure 5
Figure 6
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Figure 13
Figure 14
Figure 15
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