HOVERING MONSTER--The hovering "monsters" have returned to Vietnam -- to the Mekong Delta -- following the successful testing and evaluation in 1966.
HOVERING MONSTER--The hovering "monsters" have returned to Vietnam -- to the Mekong Delta -- following the successful testing and evaluation in 1966. Highlight of that trial period was Operation Quai Vat (Monster) during November 1966 in the rain-flooded Plain of Reeds, where the Viet Cong threw down their weapons and fled at the sight of the 39-foot-long Patrol Air-Cushion Vehicle (PACV). The Navy's PACV (pronounced PAC-VEE) looks like a giant elliptical waterbug riding on a cushion of air. The air cushion is created by a turbine-powered fan located under the armoured craft, while forward propulsion is generated by a tail-mounted propeller. The PACV can travel over water, swamp and relatively flat land, seeking the enemy, finding him and pursuing him at speeds of nearly a-mile-a-minute. Operating as a unit of the joint Army-Navy Mobile Riverine Force, one of its principal values will be in fast firelight reaction as it carries an array of machine guns and grenade launchers to confront the enemy. Each of the craft has a crew of four enlisted men and two commissioned officers. The PACVs began operations with the Mobile Riverine Force on December 28, 1967.