The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the next generation landing craft, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 104, June 9. LCAC 104’s delivery follows the completion of Acceptance Trials with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey to test the readiness and capability of the craft and to validate requirements. LCACs are built with similar configurations, dimensions, and clearances to the legacy LCAC, ensuring the compatibility of this next-generation air cushion vehicle with existing well deck-equipped amphibious ships.
“These next generation craft provide our Navy and Marine Corps team with essential agility and speed to complete their missions,” said Capt. Jason Grabelle, program manager, Amphibious Assault and Connectors Programs, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “The reliability and flexibility of the LCAC make them an essential asset to the fleet – protecting the maritime domain now and in the future.”
The Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC), also known as the LCAC 100 class, is a system proposed by the United States Navy as a replacement for the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). Although the design will be broadly similar to the LCAC, there will be several significant differences:two-person fly-by-wire cockpit with joystick controls, more powerful, more efficient engines, extensive use of composites and aluminum alloys for corrosion resistance and dvanced skirt instead of a deep skirt for less drag and reduced craft weight.
It will offer an increased capacity to cope with the growing weight of equipment used by the United States Army and Marine Corps. The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) program is currently in serial production on LCACs 105 – 116 at Textron Systems. The SSC has a designed lifetime of 30 years. The tenth SSC to be delivered will have the capability to launch vehicles into the water rather than travel to the beach. That ability will then be retrofitted to the previous nine vessels.