Textron Inc., New Orleans, La., has been awarded a $386,280,994 contract modification covering the construction of 15 Ship to Shore Connector landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) vessels. The award is for Craft 109 through 123.
Textron delivered Craft 100, the first of the next-generation Shore Connector (SSC) air cushion landing craft to the U.S. Navy on February 6.
The second craft, LCAC 101, is making “tremendous headway,” according to PEO Ships, and will head to sea within the next few weeks for Builder’s Trials for assessment of its operational readiness. During the trials, LCAC 101 will undergo integrated testing in both unloaded and loaded states to ensure the craft will successfully meet all requirements. The Detail Design and Construction contract procured nine craft. Beyond Craft 100 and LCAC 101, an additional seven craft are in the later stages of production.
“As the program continues to move forward with delivering these important capabilities to the fleet, the procurement of these additional craft is critical,” said Tom Rivers, program manager of the Amphibious Warfare Program Office for PEO Ships.
As the replacement for the existing fleet of Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicles, follow-on SSCs will primarily transport weapon systems, equipment, cargo, and personnel through tough environmental conditions to the beach. The craft can travel at a sustained 35 knots and shares less than one percent of legacy LCAC original parts, though it is built with similar configurations, dimensions, and clearances to existing LCAC, ensuring compatibility with existing well deck-equipped amphibious ships, as well as Expeditionary Transfer Dock and Expeditionary Sea Bases.
SSC provides increased performance to handle current and future missions, as well as improvements, which will increase craft availability and reduce total ownership cost.
Work is expected to be complete by January 2025. Fiscal 2017 shipbuilding and conversion (SCN) (Navy) funding in the amount of $8,168,067; fiscal 2018 SCN funding in the amount of $236,986,570; fiscal 2019 SCN funding in the amount of $198,693,525; and fiscal 2020 SCN funding in the amount of $50,800,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.