The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the next-generation landing craft, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 105, March 8. LCACs are built with configurations, dimensions, and clearances similar to the legacy LCACs they replace – ensuring that this latest air cushion vehicle is fully compatible with existing well deck-equipped amphibious ships, the Expeditionary Sea Base and the Expeditionary Transfer Dock. LCACs are capable of carrying a 60-75 ton payload. The delivery of LCAC 105 comes after completion of acceptance trials conducted by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.
“LCACs are a critical tool for the Navy, the Marine Corps, and all of our warfighters,” said Amphibious Assault and Connectors Program Manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships, Capt. Jason Grabelle. “This delivery comes at an important time for the fleet, and their inclusion will only strengthen our posture.”
The next-generation landing craft, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 105 primarily transport weapon systems, equipment, cargo, and assault element personnel through a wide range of conditions, including over-the-beach. Textron Systems of Slidell, Louisiana is currently in serial production on LCACs 107-115. As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.
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). On July 6, 2012, the US Navy awarded Textron, Inc of New Orleans, LA a $212.7M fixed-priced incentive-fee contract for the detail design and construction of a Ship-to-Shore Connector test and training craft. It will offer an increased capacity to cope with the growing weight of equipment used by the United States Army and Marine Corps. As of 2015, the program is forecast to cost a total of US$4.054B for 73 hovercraft Textron can produce as many as 12 SSCs per year. The first SSC was delivered on 6 February 2020.