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By David Stoltz, Public Affairs Officer, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast
NEW ORLEANS - The Navy's new Ship to Shore Connector
program reached a production milestone when the first hull, LCAC 100, was
turned over during a 7 1/2 hour evolution at Textron Systems Marine & Land
Systems Nov. 5.
The Ship to Shore Connector is the U.S. Navy's newest
landing craft. The craft's hull is
initially constructed upside down for ease of welding and construction, and
then 'flipped' to complete its assembly.
Two craft are currently under construction at Textron as
part of a nine-hull contract. The Ship
to Shore Connectors will be used primarily to transport weapon systems,
equipment, cargo and personnel through varied environmental conditions from
amphibious ships to the beach.
"This significant production event marks the
buoyancy box's transition from the Hull Assembly Line to the first Craft
Assembly Station," said Mr. Tom Rivers, Program Manager from the
Amphibious Warfare Program Office in PEO Ships.
"It is a major transition point as the first craft now enters the
above deck module integration phase of production."
To turn the hull over, LCAC 100's 40-ton hull was
attached to a turnover fixture. Two
winches assisted in maneuvering the craft while the gantry crane pulled the
hull up, and then slowly lowered it back down, right-side up. In completing this phase of construction,
LCAC 100 moved from the hull assembly line to a series of craft assembly
stations, where it will begin to be outfitted with the personnel and equipment
module, command module, and the engine module.
At subsequent stations, testing will begin on the various craft
components as well as integration testing.
The Ship to Shore Connector is capable of carrying a
74-ton payload at speeds of more than 35 knots.
With an enclosed personnel transport module loaded, it can carry up to
145 combat-equipped Marines or 108 casualty personnel. It measures 90 feet bow to stern, and 40 feet
port to starboard.
Construction of LCAC 100 began Nov. 17, 2014. Delivery is
planned for 2017. The Ship to Shore Connector has a service life of 30 years.
- NAVSEA -