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Ship to Shore Connector
SSC/LCAC Comparison

No change is expected in operational use or missions of the Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) from that of Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC). The SSC has similar dimensions and clearances to the LCAC, which ensures the compatibility of SSC with existing well deck equipped amphibious ships. SSC will be able to embark aboard and operate with LPD 17, LSD 41, LSD 49, LHA 1, and LHD 1 classes, as well as the Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD).

LCACs are manned by a crew of five: Craftmaster, Engineer, Navigator, Loadmaster and Deck Engineer. The Craftmaster, Engineer, and Navigator are seated in the starboard cabin. A bubble window on top of the LCAC port side cabin is used by an additional observer (Loadmaster or Deck Engineer). The SSC is also manned by a crew of five: Pilot, Copilot, Loadmaster and two Deck Engineers. The SSC’s design allows for a two-person (pilot/co-pilot) cockpit in the starboard cabin and the incorporation of state-of-the-practice flight and engineering control system technology. Redundant pilot and co-pilot controls at the cockpit enable the SSC to be controlled by one pilot in an emergency. The change in design in the port side cabin arrangement of SSC provides better visibility and reduces fatigue for the Loadmaster and Deck Engineers who perform lookout functions while the craft is underway. Craft control is done from the starboard side cabin. The SSC will achieve many improvements over the LCAC, such as:
  • The SSC will include Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Navigation (C4N) systems that address Fact of Life (FOL) improvements due to system obsolescence, over LCAC C4N systems.
  • The SSC design has incorporated material and systems improvements to address the top 25 high maintenance drivers of LCAC including the use of more corrosion resistant aluminum in the hull and composites in the propeller shroud assembly. Material fixes will increase craft availability and lower life cycle maintenance costs.
  • The SSC will carry heavier equipment payloads compared to the LCAC.
  • The SSC has two longitudinally mounted engines with increased horsepower per side; the LCAC has two transversely mounted engines per side. This reduces powertrain gearbox complexity.
  • The SSC has one lift fan per side (with composite volute for lift fans and bow thrusters); the LCAC has two lift fans per side (with aluminum volute for lift fans and bow thrusters). This reduces powertrain complexity and lowers maintenance.
  • The SSC has a 60Hz electrical distribution system; the LCAC has a 400Hz electrical distribution system. 400Hz systems are typically found on aircraft. 60Hz is more common to ships allowing greater access to parts and lower component costs.
  • The SSC has one Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and one gearbox driven Craft Service Generator (CSG) per side; the LCAC has one APU per side and no gearbox driven CSG. This configuration will reduce energy costs.
  • The SSC has two gearboxes (one per side); the LCAC has a total of eight gear boxes (four per side). This reduces powertrain gearbox complexity.
  • The SSC uses composite shafts and propulsor shrouds; the LCAC has steel shafts and aluminum alloy shrouds. The use of composites will reduce maintenance costs in these areas.

Updated Jan 2019