Textron Systems Corporation, a Textron Inc. company, announced on March 9, 2020 the successful delivery of its first next-generation air cushion vehicle, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Craft 100 to the U.S. Navy on February 6.
«We are proud to deliver the first of many Ship to Shore Connectors to the U.S. Navy», said Henry Finneral, Senior Vice President, Textron Systems. «This delivery is the result of the dedication by the joint Navy and industry team and will provide the Navy with a needed capability to rapidly transport material, personnel and humanitarian assistance to shore lines».
Prior to delivery, Craft 100 underwent integrated testing to demonstrate the capability of its fly-by-wire steering, electrical and propulsion systems and completed its Acceptance Trials in December 2019.
As the replacement for the existing fleet of Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicles, follow-on SSCs will primarily transport weapon systems, equipment, cargo, and personnel through tough environmental conditions to the beach. The craft can travel at a sustained 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h and shares less than one percent of legacy LCAC original parts, representing a true upgrade for the LCAC forces at Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4, ACU 5, and NBU 7. The SSC also has an increased payload and service life of 30 years.
The SSC is constructed at Textron Systems in New Orleans and built with similar configurations, dimensions, and clearances to existing LCAC, ensuring the compatibility of this next-generation air cushion vehicle with existing well deck-equipped amphibious ships, as well as Expeditionary Transfer Dock and Expeditionary Sea Bases.
The Navy will continue to utilize Craft 100 as a test and training craft. There are currently thirteen additional SSCs in various states of production. Builder’s Trials for Craft 101 are scheduled for the first quarter of this year, with Acceptance Trials following in the spring.
|Payload||74 t/ 163,142 lbs.|
|Speed||35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h at Sea State 3|
|Deck Area||67 x 24 feet (1,608 sq feet)/20.42 x 7.32 m (149.39 sq m)|
|Operating Crew||Four (pilot, co-pilot, load master and deck engineer)|
|Overall Height||5 feet/1.52 m|
|Overall Length||92 feet/28.04 m|
|Overall Beam||48 feet/14.63 m|
|Propulsion||Four gas turbine engines|
|Service Life||30 years|