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October 12, 2009

Textron and L-3 team to pursue landing craft program

Textron Marine & Land Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has teamed with L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL) to pursue the Navy's next generation landing-craft, the Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC), and to further develop the Navy's contract design using its detailed design-to-prototype build practices.

The SSC program, estimated by the Navy to have a value of $4 billion, provides for the construction of up to 80 hovercraft to replace the aging Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) fleet. These craft provide the primary over-the-horizon, ship-to-objective amphibious lift capability, as well as the capability to move across the beach carrying heavy payloads for military and humanitarian operations.

Textron Marine & Land Systems is proposing to be the prime contractor, shipbuilder, and test facility; L-3 Communications is proposing to design, build, outfit, integrate, test and deliver various craft modules, as well as provide integrated lifecycle support and logistics.

Textron Marine & Land Systems says the partnership unites its "technical expertise and high-rate precision manufacturing with L-3 Communications' advanced maritime integration capabilities. This unique skill set, along with the more than 55 years of combined air cushion vehicle (ACV) experience of the team is in line with the needs of sailors and soldiers. Since the delivery of the first LCAC in 1984 by Textron Marine & Land Systems, both L-3 Communications and Textron Marine & Land Systems have delivered all of the Navy's LCAC Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) craft in support of the Navy's operational readiness."

"Our team will be focused on taking the Navy design and ensuring a low risk transition to production," said Textron Marine & Land Systems Senior Vice President and General Manager Tom Walmsley. "No one has the proven knowledge and expertise that our two companies possess on such a unique platform. We look forward to providing the lowest risk best value solution for the U.S. Navy."

The Navy's SSC Specification Development is scheduled to continue for another year, with an anticipated release of a request for proposal of the Detailed Design and Construction of the lead craft in late 2010.


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