Navy Orders Two Utility Landing Craft from Swiftships

WASHINGTON — The Navy has awarded contract for the second and third utility landing craft (LCU) of a new class.

The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded a $26.7 million contract modification to Swiftships LLC of Morgan City, Louisiana, for LCU 1701 and 1702. The craft will follow the prototype of the LCU 1700 class, which is replacing the old LCU 1610 class on a one-for-one basis.

“LCU 1700 will be a similarly rugged steel craft, which will recapitalize the LCU 1610 capabilities and have a design life of 30 years,” the contract announcement 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.

Work on the two craft is expected to be completed by May 2021.