US scopes objectives for new surface connector workhorse
By Richard Scott
The US Navy has laid out plans for the recapitalisation of its ageing Landing Craft Utility (LCU) fleet, with ruggedness, operability, efficiency, and through-life affordability emerging as the key drivers for the programme.
Known as the Surface Connector (X) Recapitalization, or SC(X)R, the still embryonic acquisition effort seeks a 25-year service life platform to replace the current LCU 1600 capability. Initial procurement funding is targeted for Fiscal Year 2017.
The LCU 1600-class craft, of which 32 are in service, have been operational for an average of 40 years. Built of steel, and with a full-load displacement of 401 tons, the roll-on/roll-off design is capable of a maximum speed of 12 kt and an endurance of 1,200 n miles at a speed of 8 kt.
Lift capacity is 170 short tons cargo, or 400 passengers, or 350 troops, or two M1A1 tanks (with plow). Accommodation provides for a crew of 13, with habitability and provisioning support allowing for missions of up to 10 days.
A broad scope of requirement for what has become SC(X)R was promulgated by the Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) in a request for information released on 1 August 2012.192 of 638 words
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