Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Duck To Ride On.

The Malaccan DUCK's

It impressed me no less to see an amphibian truck typically called a duck, a legacy of the name of one of its enduring predecessor the DUKW, being successfully operated by a tourist company in Malacca during my recent visit there. Checking their website, I found that the truck is not a DUKW but actually a LARC V or Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo, 5 ton; which is an aluminium-hulled amphibious cargo vehicle capable of transporting 5 tons. It was developed in US during the 1950s, and is used in a variety of auxiliary roles to this day by no less than 5 National armed forces, and to my surprise by both the Philippines Marine and Singapore Combat Support Services Unit regionally.

The Singaporean LARC V

The Phillippines LARC V

That got me wondering why our own armed forces or security agency has not thought of this solution for our amphibious needs, if not the army or navy, at least the police or JPA3 Civil Defence agency should operate at least a squadron for use during our flooding season. We always complain that we do not have suitable transport to reach water logged areas, but the solution has been staring at our Powers-To-Be faces all this while. In the US the LARC V is undergoing SLEP as it has been found to be useful in emergency relief work, so should we not also consider this a viable solution. Don't la say that it will take a study tour to the States to decide on this, as it is already proven and operating locally. I have read that the Police managed to set a circumnavigation record with an amphibious RHIB on trial some time ago, but a RHIB will not have the capacity of this 5 ton Duck. Hopefully this post will get some brain juices working in someone working in our National Security Department. In any event, the Malaccan DUCK's should be made available for duty during a National emergency, but still this is a poor solution to an omnipresent threat.


randori said...

I've seen the kind of amphibious duck before in the 70s national day parades at the merdeka square. But they seem to slowly disappear with time.

mumuchi said...

Really sir. Any chance you know which unit operated it?

randori said...

No idea.I can't recall the color of the boats either... I was a little boy then. Might belonged to the British army.

mumuchi said...

No worries. Did some research based on your feedback. Yup the British Army did operate some out of Singapore during the Emergency. Basically grey coloured ducks like this.

source :

But don't know if these were transferred once they left the Far East. It seems the Red crescent also operated some, but I cannot verify yet.

randori said...

Most probably the ones that were shown in the parades belonged to the Red Crescent, or rather Red Cross at that particular time, cant recall either. Maybe meant for the frequent flooding in that era. Just that I dont understand why they didn't want to continue the usage of the Ducks. Was it not practical or too expensive to maintain?

Anonymous said...

If this one Duck being used in Segamat during big Flood in 2006 and 2011, it will be very helpful for the army to save people and transport rations to the villagers. No need to use the big truck that carry the MBT. And incident happened that one of the truck struck in the mud during las flood in 2011.Any reason of not operating it.