Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)

Product Type:

Hovercraft

Using Service (US):

Navy and Marine Corps (USMC)

Program Status:

Sustainment and Upgrades

Prime Contractors:

Textron Marine and Land Systems and
Avondale Gulfport Marine

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2014 Budget

The Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC) Hovercraft

About the LCAC:





The Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) is a high-speed, over-the-beach fully amphibious landing craft, capable of carrying a 75 ton payload. The LCAC transports personnel, weapons, equipment, and cargo in support of assault elements of the U.S. Marine Air/Ground Task Force. LCAC provides transportation from ship to shore and across the beach. LCACs can carry payloads as heavy as an M1 Abrams main battle tank. The first LCAC was delivered to the U.S. Navy in 1984 with Initial Operational Capability (IOC) achieved in 1986. The LCAC program entered full-rate production in 1987. A total of 91 LCACs have been built with the final craft, LCAC-91, delivered to the Navy in 2001.

LCACs are transported in and operate from ships such as LHA, LHD, and LHA 6 America Class amphibious assault ships; LPD/LPD 17 amphibious transport dock ships; LSD dock landing ships; and the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) when it enters service. LCACs have a crew of five and, in addition to beach landing and personnel transport, it performs evacuation support, lane breaching, mine countermeasure operations, and Marine and Special Warfare equipment delivery missions.

The U.S. Department of Defense has launched a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) to extend LCAC service life from twenty to thirty years. The SLEP include major modifications to the hull as well as new engines. Prime contractors on the SLEP are L-3 Communications (L-3 Services) and Oceaneering International, Inc.

The new hull incorporates four modifications:
1) additional internal compartmentation to increase cargo carrying capacity; 2) a modified fuel system to increase range;
3) improved skirt attachments to reduce maintenance; and
4) deep skirt to improve performance and maximize safety.

The SLEP will also include the C4N electronic suite replacement as well as a modified set of TF40B engines, designated ETF40B.



Armament/Ship Self-Defense:

The LCAC is equipped with two 12.7mm machine guns. Gun mounts will support M2 .50 caliber machine guns, Mk19 Mod3 40mm grenade launchers, and M60 machine guns.



Mission/Role:

Rapid transport of weapons, equipment, cargo and personnel of the assault elements of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force from ship to shore and across the beach.



FY 2013 DoD Program:

The DoD provides $85.7M to fund the service-life extension of two LCACs.



FY 2014 DoD Program:

The DoD provides $81.0M to fund the service-life extension of four LCACs.

For more information, click to see the FY2014 LCAC-SLEP Budget.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

Last Update: July 31, 2013.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:



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Vericor Power Systems: ETF40B Gas Turbine Engine



YouTube: Landing Craft Air Cushion | YouTube Videos



Fact Sheet: LCAC-SLEP | Fact Sheet

LCAC U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the LCAC Hovercraft in FY2011, FY2012, FY2013 and FY2014
DoD Purchases of LCAC Hovercraft in FY2011, FY2012, FY2013 and FY2014
DoD Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12 + Budget for FYs 2013 and 2014

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the LCAC Hovercraft

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Modifications | LCAC SLEP (NAVY) Sequestration FY2013
Specifications

Specifications: Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)

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Primary Function: Rapid transport of weapons, equipment,
cargo, and personnel from ship to shore and across the beach
Prime Contractor: Textron Marine and Land Systems and Avondale Gulfport Marine
Hull: Air cushion
Propulsion: Legacy LCAC: 4x AlliedSignal TF40B gas turbine engines (2 propulsion/2 lift) with 4,000 hp each;
LCAC-SLEP: 4x Vericor Power Systems ETF40B gas turbine engines (2 propulsion/2 lift) with 5,035 hp each
+ Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)
Length: 88 ft (26.8 m)
Beam: 47 ft (14.3 m)
Draft: None (rides on cushion of air)
Displacement: Light: 88.6 metric tons; Full Load: 172.7-184.9 metric tons
Speed: 40+ kts/46+ mph (74+ km/h) fully loaded
Range: 174 nm/200 miles (370 km) at 40 kts; 261 nm/300 miles (556 km) at 35 kts
Electronics: Radars, Navigation: Marconi LN 66; I band/Sperry Marine Bridge Master E
Armament/Ship Self-Defense: 2x 12.7mm machine guns;
Gun mounts will support M2 .50 caliber machine guns; Mk-19 Mod3 40mm grenade launchers; and M60 machine guns
Crew: Five
Deployed: IOC: 1986


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