ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy has ordered five more of its new utility landing craft (LCU) for its amphibious warfare forces.
Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Swiftships of Morgan City, Louisiana, a $59.3 million modification to a previously awarded contract “to exercise an option for the construction of five Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) 1700-class transportation boats (1707 through 1711),” the Defense Department said in a May 7, 2021, announcement. Delivery is expected by November 2023. The funds will come from the fiscal 2021 budget.
In February 2019, the Navy ordered LCU 1701 and 1702 under a $26.7 million contract modification. The craft will follow the prototype of the LCU 1700 class. In April 2020, the Navy ordered LCUs 1703-1706 under a $50.1 contract.
“The LCU 1700 class will recapitalize the LCU 1610 capabilities and have a design life of 30 years,” the Naval Sea Systems Command said. “LCU 1700 craft will be a highly reliable and fuel-efficient heavy-lift platform whose capability will be complementary to the faster air cushion landing craft, which have a significantly shorter range, smaller payload capacity, no habitability and operating hour limitations.”
The Navy’s amphibious warfare ships equipped with well decks routinely deploy with LCUs embarked. The Navy plans to procure a total of 32 LCU 1700 craft.