The Navy’s newest amphibious transport dock ship is transporting the Navy’s newest connectors to their new homeport, highlighting the significant capabilities being delivered to the Navy from the Gulf Coast. Ship to Shore Connector, Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 103 and 104, received a lift of opportunity (LOO) aboard future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28), July 16.
During LPD 28’s transit from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding Division in Pascagoula, Mississippi to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where the ship will soon be commissioned, the newest LPD worked with Assault Craft Unit 4 (ACU 4) as LCAC 103 and 104 entered the well deck. The craft will remain aboard the ship as it transits to its homeport in Norfolk after commissioning.
“As the future USS Fort Lauderdale readies for commissioning, the LOO provides the opportunity to further demonstrate a capability that will be essential to the future amphibious fleet for years to come,” said Capt. Cedric McNeal, program manager, Amphibious Warfare Program Office, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “We welcome the opportunity to bring together key Navy and Marine Corps next generation capabilities as we look to strengthen and advance the amphibious maritime mission.”
LCAC 103 and 104, delivered to the Navy by Textron Systems in December 2021 and June 2022 respectively, have been at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Panama City Division receiving post-delivery upgrades and participating in test and trials events. Once the craft are in Norfolk, they will proceed to ACU 4 in Little Creek, Virginia where they will join LCAC 101 and 102 to continue post-delivery test and trials and fleet introduction.
LCAC 100 craft-class are built with similar configurations, dimensions, and clearances to the legacy LCAC, ensuring the compatibility of this next-generation LCAC with existing well deck-equipped amphibious ships. The LCAC program is currently in serial production on LCACs 105 – 117.
“These next generation craft provide our Navy and Marine Corps team with essential agility and speed to complete their missions,” said Capt. Jason Grabelle, program manager, Amphibious Assault and Connectors Programs, PEO Ships. “The reliability and flexibility of these LCAC make them an essential asset to the fleet – protecting the maritime domain now and in the future.”
LCACs/SSCs are used primarily to transport vehicles, heavy equipment, and supplies through varied environmental conditions, from amphibious ships to over the beach. Delivery of this craft will significantly enhance the Navy and Marine Corps team’s capability to execute a broad spectrum of missions well into the 21st century, from humanitarian assistance and disaster response to multidimensional amphibious assault.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.