?>

Navy Moving Forward with New Landing Craft

In the 1980’s as part of the Reagan build up and modernization of the U.S. military the Navy developed and placed into service amphibious assault landing craft based on hovercraft. These Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) have been in service now for almost thirty years and provide the ability to move vehicles and troops at high speed from Naval ships to the shoreline. The Soviets also had introduced hovercraft landing craft but the U.S. with their large amphibious Navy and the Marine Corps operated the most of these systems.

Now the Navy is moving to begin the process of replacing the LCAC. Textron Marine and Land Systems, part of Textron Inc (TXT), announced that they are forming a team including U.S. defense contractor L-3 Communications (LLL) as well as Alcoa Defense, part of Alcoa (AA). The system when it is finally developed and placed into production will be mainly made out of aluminum so the inclusion of Alcoa helps lay the foundation for that process.

The new SSC program is being managed by the NAVSEA command. A presentation about the program from a workshop may be found here.

Another team vying for the contract will be made up of Boeing (BA) and Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC). More information about their team and proposal is here at their website.

The SSC is one of two major programs that are being developed to aid the insertion of Marine and other forces onto a hostile shore. The Marine Corps has been working on the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) for several years. That program is being led by General Dynamics (GD). The program has suffered delays and cost increases and has been criticized but so far has been spared cancellation with the new Obama Administration when they canceled programs like the VH-71 Presidential Helicopter.

These two programs when complete will represent a significant modernization of the Navy and Marine Corps’ ability to project power ashore at high speed. The SSC will be able to move heavy equipment such as tanks ashore while the EFV will carry the infantry needed to conduct battles. The EFV is also designed to fight ashore and act as an armored carrier.

Both of these efforts represent significant work for GD and the winners of the SSC competition.

Photo from UNC-CFC-USFK flickr photostream.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

>