Published November 14, 2012
The HUMVEE is an impressive, nearly unstoppable military machine. But even though it can be outfitted to ford water up to five feet deep, take a dive into the ocean and it will sink like the brick that it resembles.
It was specifically designed to do this, giving it more traction when driving through shallow water than if it were buoyant like an old VW Beetle. But what if you actually have the need to get across a liquid abyss?
Someone at Turkish military contractor Otokar apparently wondered the same thing and developed the Cobra. Built under license on the same underpinnings as the HUMVEE, the stealth fighter-looking craft is fully armored while its V-shaped mine resistant hull provides an effective platform for amphibious operations when specially equipped.
Sealed tight and fitted with a pair of hydraulic thrusters, the 12,000-pound craft can cruise across the water at a slow, but sure 5 mph as the driver (or is it pilot?) uses a joystick controller for navigation. On land, the big boat can still hit a top speed of 70 mph and climb 60 percent grades without missing a beat. It can even be modified to sustain a chemical weapons attack.
While not part of the US Military arsenal, the Cobra has found favor in countries such as Georgia, Pakistan and The Maldives.
Considering the last one of those is a nation made up of over 1,000 islands, we’re not surprised.