Deploying Heavy Machinery Quickly with Light Materials

When a military client needed to deploy heavy machinery quickly from onboard a switch vessel, sacrificing strength for speed was not an option. The client required a ramp on the bow of a vessel that could onload and offload cargo while on the beach, piers, or ocean platforms. It needed to be both structurally sound and quickly deployable on a fast boat.

Meeting the Challenge of Reduced Weight Requirements

SIT’s expertise around both aluminum fabrications and articulating structural designs made it the logical choice to take on the work as the client’s partner. SIT made sure to carefully achieve each requirement, one by one, including an in-depth finite element analysis conducted by the engineers to confirm the application would perform. The components required for this project included:

  • Bow ramp: 400 inches (33+ ft.) long, 17 ft. wide
    • Fully articulating bow ramp to fold-up and lock into hull (functions as part of the bow)
    • Near watertight design when closed and locked
    • Custom aluminum fabrication
    • Hydraulic cylinders (7 and 6 inch bore) plus manifolds
  • Stern ramp: 17 ft. long, 17 ft. wide
    • Custom aluminum fabrication
    • Hydraulic cylinders (7 inch bore) plus manifolds
  • Central HPU (handles bow ramp, stern gate, and kedge anchor winch)
  • PLC controlled with HMI touchscreen portable controllers

Bow & Stern Ramp Benefits

The project has since passed all evaluations and expected to soon receive ABS approval. With the ramp in place, the client has improved tactical capacity, with a new prototype they can continue to improve upon.

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