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Austal USA Holds Keel Laying Ceremony for LCU 1710

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 26, 2024

(Photo: Austal USA)

(Photo: Austal USA)

Mobile, Ala. shipbuilder Austal USA on Wednesday held a keel laying ceremony for LCU 1710, marking the official start of construction on the first of three Landing Craft Utility (LCU) vessels for the U.S. Navy.

Austal USA was awarded a $91.5 million contract in September 2023 that includes three LCU and associated support efforts.

LCU are carried aboard 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. These connectors provide a heavy-lift capability and can carry about the same payload capacity as seven C-17 aircraft.

Austal USA’s steel line has been active since beginning operation two years ago. Steel shipbuilding production is ongoing for two Navy Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) and the Navy’s 90,800 square-foot Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM).  Austal USA also holds multi-ship contracts for the Navy’s TAGOS-25 ocean surveillance ship and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Heritage-class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program which is scheduled to start construction this summer.