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Austal USA Begins Building US Navy's LCU 1710 Landing Craft

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 11, 2024

(Image: Austal USA)

(Image: Austal USA)

Austal USA earlier this month celebrated the start of construction on the first of three LCU 1710 Landing Craft Utility vessels for the U.S. Navy at the company’s Mobile, Ala. shipyard.

Austal USA, a subsidiary if the Australian shipbuilding group Austal, was awarded a US$91.5 million (A$143.4 million) contract in September 2023 that includes three LCU 1710 vessels and associated support efforts.

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said the start of construction on Austal USA’s latest steel vessel program highlighted the shipyard’s growing capacity and capability to efficiently manufacture multiple steel vessel projects. The shipyard expanded upon its well-established aluminum shipbuilding capabilities with a new facility dedicated to steel shipbuilding opened in 2022.

“The Austal USA team is already constructing the U.S. Navy’s Towing, Salvage and Rescue (T-ATS) ships and the Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM), with more steel projects to commence soon, including the Navy’s Ocean Surveillance (T-AGOS) ships and the Coast Guards’ Offshore Patrol Cutters,” Gregg said.  

U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Lieutenant General Karsten S. Heckl, Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration (DC, CD&I), said, “The LCU provides strategic value and versatility to the Navy-Marine Corps team. These landing craft will significantly enhance our sea-based Marine Air-Ground Task Forces and Marine Expeditionary Units, providing them with unparalleled flexibility, and the capability to maneuver Marines, sailors and equipment in environments unreachable by other means.”

Austal USA Vice President of New Construction Programs Dave Growden said, “Austal USA is eager to begin construction on the first of these important connectors for the U.S. Navy. Having General Heckl join the Austal USA team today in honor of this milestone sends a strong message on the critical role this platform plays in supporting expeditionary operations for the Navy and Marine Corps.  We are excited to roll these vessels down the assembly line and into the fleet.”

LCU 1710 are carried aboard the U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ships to the objective area and used across a range of military operations to deliver vehicles, personnel and cargo from sea-to-shore and back. The vessels provide an essential heavy-lift capability and can carry approximately the same payload capacity as seven C-17 aircraft.

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