WASHINGTON, DC --The Naval Sea Systems Command
(NAVSEA) Amphibious Warfare Program Executive
Office announced that LCAC 25, the first of 73 Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) undergoing a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP),
reached a major production milestone -- the hull turnover -- at Textron Marine & Land Systems
(TM&LS) in New Orleans, La. on May 2, 2002.
TM&LS, the current Navy prime
contractor, hosted the hull turnover ceremony at its main LCAC production facility to mark the completion of the hull assembly line process and the beginning of the craft assembly station process. During the SLEP process, each LCAC will receive an upgraded,
or "deep," skirt system to contain the cushion of air it rides on, enhanced engines, and new communications and navigation systems
. The LCAC
service life will be extended from 20 to 30 years.
LCAC are high speed, over-the-beach, ship-to-objective amphibious craft capable of lifting all equipment organic to the ground elements of a
Marine Air/Ground Task Force
. The craft have the ability to operate independently of tides, water depth, underwater obstacles, or beach gradients. LCAC's unique capabilities make 70 percent of the world's shorelines accessible for amphibious operations.
LCAC is one of three integrated components in the Navy/Marine Corps Amphibious Triad necessary for the successful execution of the Operational
Maneuver from the Sea strategy. These components are the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV), the V-22 Osprey, and the LCAC. Past
LCAC missions include Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Enduring Freedom off the coast of Pakistan