Saturday, October 27, 2012

Amphibious Connector Update

Here's a quick supplemental update to our previous post on amphibious ship to shore connectors.

Defense Industry Daily (1) maintains an ongoing article about the Navy’s future Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) hovercraft landing vehicle.  The SSC appears to be a beefed up version of the venerable LCAC.  Interesting tidbits from the article include:

  • Initial plans call for a build of 72 production craft
  • Specifications cite a 25 mile delivery range
  • Same length and beam as the LCAC
  • Textron (New Orleans) has a $213M contract to produce the first craft.  The contract includes design and training among other things so this is not a representative production price.  The contract includes options for up to 8 hovercraft at a total contract price of $570M ($71M each) which gives a better idea of the production cost.

SSC - LCAC's Successor

Note that the original LCAC production run was 91 compared to the planned run of 72 for the SSC.  Does this reflect a decreased emphasis on waterborne delivery, a recognition of fewer well deck capable ships (LHA-6, for instance) in the future, or something else?  On the face of it, the smaller production run suggests less waterborne assault capacity but I’m unsure what the Navy/Marines reasoning is.  Yet another program we'll be keeping an eye on.


  1. Erm the new commercial derived amphibs i think take away a need well decks on the new gator carriers.

    However i think we need to order around 100. New equipment means loses and we will eventually lose a few. Put 20 or so in a warehouse storage.

    And 71 million a peice isnt bad when you consider the amount of fire power these ships can bring to shore and the speed they can do it at.

    Maybe the navy can get realistic about its demands for a 50+k mi range for deploying amphibious forces.

    1. James, you lost me on that first sentence. I'm not sure what you're tying to say. I think you might have an interesting point in mind but I'm not sure what it is. Try again? Thanks!

    2. The new amphibs. Not called that but.

      Afloat Forward Staging Base

      The ponce is a early idea of this.

    3. James, AFSB is still a bit of a nebulous concept but I've not heard it discussed in the context of acting as an amphibious ship. Is that what you're suggesting and, if so, have you read anything authoritative along those lines?

    4. Hmm ill have to find the article i read it Oh hell months and months back. I'm still looking like i said its been awhile.


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