Textron and partners to build five landing craft with data acquisition and embedded computing electronics

Sept. 8, 2023
The landing craft skims across the ocean on an air cushion at speeds faster than 40 knots, while riding about four feet above the ocean's surface.

WASHINGTON – Shipbuilding experts at Textron Systems will build five more of the U.S. Navy's next-generation landing craft to move Marine Corps infantry and equipment quickly onto invasion beaches from surface warships offshore.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced an $241.4 million contract last month to Textron Systems in New Orleans for five Ship-To-Shore Connector (SSC) vessels, which are replacing the Navy's Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) vessels.

The SSC program is the functional replacement for the existing fleet of LCAC vessels, which are nearing the end of their service life. The SSC program involves air cushion vehicles designed for a 30-year service life.

The SSC mission is to land surface assault elements in support of operational maneuver from the sea, at over-the-horizon distances, while operating from amphibious ships and mobile landing platforms. Textron started building the first SSC LCAC vessels in 2014 as part of a $21.9 million order.

Related: North Atlantic Industries to provide data-control embedded computer on Navy's next-generation landing craft

SSC provides increased performance to handle current and future missions, as well as improvements which will increase craft availability and reduce total ownership cost, Navy officials say.

The specialized landing craft skims across the surface of the ocean on an air cushion, and can move at speeds faster than 40 knots. The entire hull rides about four feet above the ocean's surface.

The SSC program will replace the existing fleet of 73 LCAC vessels. SSC LCAC replacement vessels will provide increased performance to handle current and future missions, as well as improvements which will increase craft availability and reduce total ownership cost, Navy officials say. The program will increase the LCAC's payload from 60 to 74 tons.

Related: Navy orders embedded computers and data converters from Aitech for LCAC landing vessels

On the SSC LCAC vessels, L3Harris Integrated Maritime Solutions in Newburyport, Mass., is providing the data acquisition and control system. For the L3Harris data acquisition and control system, North Atlantic Industries (NAI) in Bohemia, N.Y., is providing the SIU35 sensor interface unit embedded computing system.

The NAI SIU35 sensor interface unit is an advanced, rugged, and intelligent I/O and communications subsystem for data acquisition and control that provides modularity and distributed interfaces over Ethernet using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products.

Textron Systems originally won a potential $570.5 million contract (N00024-12-C-2401) in 2012 to kick off the SSC program by designing and building SSC test and training craft.

Related: Navy asks Textron to build second and third next-generation LCAC vessels for beach invasions

Before the SSC program, Navy officials had been upgrading LCAC electronics and other equipment in the The LCAC C4N to replace obsolete equipment on the LCAC, focusing on replacing the vessel's LN-66 radars with modern, high-power P-80 radar systems.

On this contract, Textron will do the work in New Orleans; Herndon and Portsmouth, Va.; Milford, Cincinnati, Painesville, and Twinsburg, Ohio; Gloucester, England; Huntington Beach and Goleta, Calif.; Gold Beach, Ore.; Davenport, Iowa; Jupiter, Fla.; Chanhassen, Minn.; and Gulfport, Miss., and should be finished by October 2025.

For more information contact Textron systems online at www.textronsystems.com/products/ship-shore-connector, L3Harris Integrated Maritime Solutions at www.l3harris.com/all-capabilities/integrated-maritime-solutions, North Atlantic Industries at www.naii.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

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