New Orleans April 13, 2015 - Textron Systems Marine & Land Systems announced today it has been awarded a $84,087,095 contract option from the U.S. Navy Naval Sea Systems Command for two next-generation Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicles and associated technical manuals as part of the Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) program. Marine & Land Systems will assemble crafts 102 and 103 at its New Orleans Shipyard. Deliveries are expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.
SSC craft will serve as the evolutionary replacement for the Navy's existing fleet of LCACs, which are nearing the end of their service life. Their mission is to land surface assault elements in support of operational maneuver from the sea, at over-the-horizon distances, while operating from the Navy's amphibious ships and mobile landing platforms. Like earlier LCACs, these craft also will be used for humanitarian and disaster relief missions.
The new air cushion vehicles, offering increased reliability and availability, are designed for a 30-year service life. They will use more corrosion-resistant aluminum in the hull than current LCAC, as well as composites in the propeller shroud assembly and shafting to increase craft availability and lower life-cycle maintenance costs. These craft also will incorporate an advanced skirt, a pilot/co-pilot arrangement, a cargo deck to accommodate a 74 short ton payload (up to M1A1 Tank), and more powerful, fuel efficient Rolls-Royce engines.
"The multi-million dollar technology investments we've made for the SSC program at our 600,000 square-foot shipyard are set to deliver important dividends to our Navy customer in terms of manufacturing efficiencies, productivity and quality," explains Tom Walmsley, senior vice president and general manager, Marine & Land Systems. "The new craft our team is fabricating and assembling will offer improved performance over legacy LCAC along with enhancements that will increase availability and reduce ownership costs for the Navy."
Textron Systems, in July 2012, earned a $213 million contract for the detailed design and construction of the SSC Test and Training craft (LCAC 100), which is scheduled to be delivered in 2017. The initial SSC contract includes total options for up to eight production craft to be delivered by 2020. A contract option for LCAC 101 was awarded in August 2014. The SSC program requirement is for a total of 73 craft (one Test and Training and 72 operational craft).