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Armored Troop Carrier (ATC) Armored Troop Carrier / Riverine Assault (1969)

Authored By JR Potts, AUS 173d AB | Last Updated: 3/26/2015

The Armored Troop Carrier bristled with heavy armament and was armored for the rigors of close-in fighting along Vietnam river shorelines.

The United States Navy, much like the French Navy before it during the First Indochina War, saw the importance of controlling and using the many streams and rivers of South Vietnam for war fighting and resupply. The purpose of the Armored Troop Carrier (or "ATC") was therefore twofold - first to move US Army and ARVN troops and, second, to service the fire team boats and other gasoline-powered watercraft on the rivers of Viet Nam. During a standard operation, troops were carried into battle in the Navy's ATCs, which were conventional landing craft, armored to safeguard against heavy fire they often were exposed to from canceled enemy positions onshore. These armored boats could carry a fully equipped infantrymen platoon of 40 men on any waterway with a depth of 5 feet or more.

The ATC boats converted from LCM-6 landing craft developed in the 1950s for ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore use. The converted LCM designs added 0.25 inch armor plating in many areas to protect the superstructure from critical damage caused by rockets. The upgraded armored ATC made up about half of the river craft deployed by the United States during the Vietnam War, in effect making the ATC the "workhorse" of the river war. Some ATCs had helicopter decks added and became ATC(H). These installations allowed helicopters to land on the boats themselves for swift evacuation of wounded soldiers. The Mobile Riverine Force (MRF) started with three basic boat types: (1) the ATC boat ("Tango Boat") - this served as the most useful boat; (2) the "Monitor", a floating artillery platform of the MRF and, (3) the Command and Communications Boat (CCB), the so-called "Charlie Boat". Each squadron of boats had a Tango boat converted into a boat for refueling to be used by all of the above.

The ATCs fuel capacity (using fuel oil or gasoline) was 1,200 gallons with space for 300 gallons of lube oil with a mixing tank holding 500 gallons. The boat was equipped with a portable tank and transfer pump that required hoses for the fuel exchange. The ATC full load displacement was 155,000 lbs with a cargo weight of 130,000 lbs. A sling was installed for hoisting fuel containers onboard. She maintained a semi-flat bottom with 2 x 6-cylinder diesel engines each having 225 horsepower at 2,100 rpm for emergency use and 165 horsepower at 1,800 rpm for continued use. ATCs fielded 2 x 24-inch D by 17-inch P by a 2-inch bore with a right-hand rotation propellers. The cargo well was 9'6" x 22'6" with a clear overhead and 9'6" x 31' 6" with a clear dock.


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Specifications for the
Armored Troop Carrier (ATC)
Armored Troop Carrier / Riverine Assault


Country of Origin: United States
Initial Year of Service: 1969
Operators: United States


Crew: 7


Length: 56.5 ft (17.22 m)
Beam: 17.5 ft (5.33 m)
Draught: 3.3 ft (1.01 m)
Displacement: 77 tons


Machinery: 2 x Detroit Diesel 64HN9 engines developing 220 horsepower each @ 2,100rpm to 1 x shaft.

Surface Speed: 8.5 kts (10 mph)
Range: 0 miles (0 km)


Armament:
FIRST GENERATION:
1 x 20mm cannon
2 x 12.7mm M2 Browning heavy machine guns
4 x 7.62mm M60 general purpose machine guns
2 x 40mm Mk 18 automatic grenade launchers
2 x 40mm M79 single-shot grenade launchers

Also any crew-served personal weapons - grenades, pistols, rifles, assault rifles and machine guns as available.

SECOND GENERATION:
2 x 20mm cannons
2 x 12.7mm M2 Browning heavy machine guns
4 x 7.62mm M60 general purpose machine guns
1 x 40mm Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher
2 x 40mm M79 single-shot grenade launchers

Also any crew-served personal weapons - grenades, pistols, rifles, assault rifles and machine guns as available.


Ship Class: Armored Troop Carrier - ATC
Number-in-Class: 300
Ships-in-Class: Not Applicable.