US Navy Orders 15 Hovercraft Costing $386 Million for Marine Landing Forces

© AP Photo / Steven GovernoUS navy helicopters fly over US Navy hovercraft during the NATO Trident Juncture exercise 2015.
US navy helicopters fly over US Navy hovercraft during the NATO Trident Juncture exercise 2015. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Textron has won a more than $386 million US Navy order to build 15 new landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) or hovercraft to carry Marine Corps troops ashore, the Department of Defence said in a press release.
“Textron of New Orleans, Louisiana is awarded a $386,280,994... modification ...contract for the construction of landing craft, air cushion 100 Class Craft 109 through 123", the release said on Thursday.

The contract was approved as part of the Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) Program, which is replacing the existing fleet of LCAC vehicles that nearing the end of their 30-year service life, the Defence Department explained.

"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", the release said.

Work will be performed mostly in New Orleans and Louisiana and is expected to be complete by January 2025.

Landing Craft Air Cushions are high-speed, fully amphibious hovercraft capable of carrying a 60-ton payload over water and land at speeds in excess of 40 knots and a nominal range of up to 200 nautical miles.

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