It’s a shenanigan that would probably make the U.S. Marine Corps’ vehicle maintainers blow a gasket. In the video below, Indonesian marines race their American-made amphibious assault vehicles off a dock, sending them flying into the ocean. The vehicles are actually suspended in the air for a few brief moments before sending up a tremendous splash of water.
The amphibious assault vehicles belong to Indonesia’s marines, or Korps Marinir. The country relies upon its navy and marines capable of projecting military power across its vast 17,508-island archipelago.
The Korps Marinir consists of two reinforced marine brigades plus vehicles like this LVTP-7, an older version of the U.S. Marines’ AAV-7 amphibious vehicle. The LVTP-7 has a crew of three and can carry up to eighteen fully loaded combat troops from ship to shore.
Apparently, it can also belly flop. To be clear, this is a complete stunt, and a poorly thought-out one at that. The stress of the 29-ton vehicle flopping into the water at 20 miles an hour can’t be good for the LVTP-7’s aluminum hull and suspension. A huge splash like that will also force corrosive seawater into every nook and cranny on the vehicle, which will have to be hosed down with fresh water and then re-lubricated.
Also, please think of the poor driver, who, unless he was strapped down like a convict at an operating table, was probably tossed around the all-metal interior of the armored vehicle. In a car with leather, cushion, and plastic interiors this stunt would be jarring enough, but the inside of an LVTP-7 is hard and unforgiving.
Finally, this is an excellent way for the LVTP-7 to throw a track. Just before the vehicle hits the water you can see the track come off the idler wheel. If the track comes totally loose someone is going to have to fish all several hundred pounds of it out of the Pacific Ocean.
Reckless or not and regardless of whether the driver survived, it’s a great recruiting stunt for the Korps Marinir. Let’s face it, it beats the U.S. Marine Corps’ infamous lava monster commercial: