Landing craft are vessels capable of disembarking passengers or vehicles directly to shore. This vessel type developed from the wartime requirement of nations to develop a rapid, large scale amphibious capability, however surplus landing craft have also found their way into civilian use as small transport craft.
Landing craft require a shallow draught in order to get close to the beach, as well as the facilities for rapid unloading. Amphibious operations are, by nature, risky ventures; as such, landing crafts must also provide some level of protection for the cargo, while beinging somewhat expendible. Early vessels were wooden boats, adapted from tenders or swamp boats. In the post-war years, they were steel ships with full hull forms (block coefficients upto 1.0).