LCAC 100 Approaches Delivery
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — A new air-cushion landing craft (LCAC) being built by Textron for combat roles in the U.S. Navy is approaching an important developmental milestone.
The first LCAC 100-class landing craft will be delivered this year, Bill Kisiah, Textron Marine & Land Systems’ vice president for Marine Systems, told reporters Jan. 12 at the Surface Navy Association National Symposium.
The LCAC 100 class is designed to supplement and eventually replace the legacy LCAC 1 class in service with the Navy’s assault craft units. Originally designated the Ship-to-Shore Connector, the LCAC 100 resembles the older craft but features more powerful engines, a simpler transmission system, more composite material, decreased manning and a modern control system, with a payload of 74 short tons.
The first new craft, LCAC 100, will be used for testing and training. LCAC 101’s delivery will follow three months later and also be used for testing. Seven more production models are under contract. The program of record calls for a production run of 72 craft.
Kisiah said he has not heard of any plans to increase the program of record, but if the Navy increases the number of amphibious warfare ships as determined in its recent Force Structure Assessment, a requirement for more than 72 craft could result.
He said the Slidell, La.-based company has invested $42 million to $45 million in automating its LCAC production line.
When it begins trials, the LCAC 100 will start with tethered tests and then “fly across Lake Pontchartrain,” he said.