NEW ORLEANS- Textron, Inc. began fabrication of the Navy's
first Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) at its New Orleans facility today.
In October 2014, the Navy approved Textron to start production
following the SSC Production Readiness Review during which the Navy evaluated
the design maturity, availability of materials, and industry's ability to start
and sustain fabrication.
"It's an exciting time. Starting production on this next
generation Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) is a significant milestone for the
Navy and Marine Corps," said Capt. Chris Mercer, Program Executive Office Ships
program manager for Amphibious Warfare. "The craft benefits from a mature
design and sound production process, paving the way for many more craft to
follow. Once delivered, these craft will fill a critical need to recapitalize
the Navy's surface connectors."
The SSC will serve as the evolutionary replacement for the
existing fleet of LCAC vehicles, which are nearing the end of their service
life. The SSC will use more corrosion resistant aluminum in the hull than LCAC
as well as composites in the propeller shroud assembly and shafting to increase
craft availability and lower life cycle maintenance costs.
The SSC will be a high-speed, fully amphibious landing craft
capable of carrying a 74-ton payload traveling at speeds of more than 35 knots.
An enclosed personnel transport module can be loaded aboard that can hold up to
145 combat-equipped Marines or 108 casualty personnel. The SSC will incorporate
an improved skirt design, the advanced skirt, in place of the LCAC's deep skirt,
reducing drag and craft weight.
The SSC supports rapid movement of Marine Expeditionary Forces
from the sea base to shore and can tactically deliver personnel and heavy
equipment to trafficable terrain well beyond the beach, with the built-in
reliability to operate in the harshest littoral environments. With 73 craft
planned, the SSC will significantly enhance the capability of Navy and Marine
Corps teams to execute a broad spectrum of missions, from humanitarian
assistance and disaster response to multidimensional amphibious assault.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition
organizations, PEO Ships, a Naval Sea Systems Command affiliated PEO, is
responsible for executing the development and procurement of all major surface
combatants, amphibious ships, special mission ships, support ships, and special
warfare craft. Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO
Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to
delivering ships on cost and schedule.
MEDIA POINT OF CONTACT:
Colleen E. O'Rourke
Naval Sea Systems Command
1333 Isaac Hull Ave., S.E.
Washington Navy Yard,