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Third SSC air cushion landing craft delivered to USN

The US Navy (USN) has formally accepted its third Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) air cushion landing craft from Textron Systems.

The LCAC 102 was handed over to the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on 3 June. This followed the successful completion in April of acceptance trials with the navy's Board of Inspection and Survey to test the readiness and capability of the craft, and to validate requirements.

Designed to replace the USN's current Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) fleet, the SSC (also known as the LCAC 100 class) builds on the proven LCAC design pedigree but incorporates a number of engineering improvements to increase payload, reliability, and availability, and at the same time improve ‘producibility'. Examples include a new skirt that is lighter and has less drag, a strengthened cargo deck, a 74 ton payload capacity, more powerful and more fuel-efficient engines, and more efficient propellers. Another change is the introduction of a new command, control, communications, computers, and navigation (C4N) suite in the cockpit module that will enable a reduction from three crew (as per the LCAC) to two.

In July 2012 NAVSEA contracted Textron Systems, Marine and Land Systems for the detail design and construction of an initial SSC test and training craft (LCAC 100). The contract included options, all subsequently exercised, for up to eight follow-on low-rate initial production (LRIP) craft.

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