June 3 (UPI) -- The Navy accepted delivery of the Ship to Shore Connector landing craft air cushion, or LCAC, on Thursday, the branch said in a press release.
"SSC provides the Navy and Marine Corps team with the capability and capacity needed to execute a range of complex missions with agility and speed," Capt. Cedric McNeal, program manager, Amphibious Warfare Programs, Program Executive Office Ships, said in the Navy press release.
The existing fleet of LCAC vehicles is nearing the end of its service life and is being phased out in favor of higher-performance SSCs, which are now in serial production, the Navy said.
The LCAC is a high-speed, fully amphibious landing craft capable of carrying a 60-75 ton payload, and is used to transport weapons systems, equipment and cargo and personnel for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force from ship to shore.
"With increases in performance and reliability, this next generation craft will meet the needs of the fleet for years to come," McNeal said.
In April 2020, Textron, Inc. was awarded a $386.3 million contract modification for the construction of new LCAC vehicles for the Navy.
Two of the vessels already are in post-delivery testing with the Navy, with 12 more currently in production at Textron's production lines in Louisiana, the branch said.