PACIFIC OCEAN (April 24, 2018) Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1680, attached to Assault Craft Unit (ACU 1), prepares to embark Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) during Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) exercise (ARGMEUEX). ARGMEUEX enhances joint integration, lethality and collective capabilities of the Navy-Marine team through joint planning and execution of challenging and realistic training scenarios. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Julian Davis/Released)
The LCU, the displacement craft component of the Navy’s landing craft fleet, complements the LCAC by transporting the heaviest loads of equipment and supplies ashore while providing the ability to operate independently in support of intra-theater transport, security cooperation, non-combatant evacuation, foreign humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief operations. LCUs have both bow and stern ramps for onload/offload and are capable of conducting independent open ocean transits or operations at sea for up to 1200nm or 10 days.
The LCU enables the Marine Corps to transport heavy loads of equipment and supplies ashore while providing the ability to operate independently in support of intra-theater transport, security cooperation, non-combatant evacuation, foreign humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief operations.
The aging LCU 1610 fleet will be replaced one-for-one by the LCU 1700 program to maintain a fleet inventory of 32 craft. Acquisition of the LCU 1700 will ensure that the Navy retains a reliable, fuel-efficient, heavy-lift displacement landing craft capable of independent transits at intra-theater ranges to support and sustain operations from the sea.
Initial Operating Capability (IOC) of 2 craft – 2023
Full Operating Capability (FOC) of 32 craft - 2028
Swiftships, Morgan City, LA*
Southern SB, Slidell, LA
Gunderson Marine, Portland, OR
General Ship, Boston, MA
Pacific Coast Eng, Alameda, CA
Marinette Marine, Marinette, WI
Defoe SB, Bay City, MI
Halter Marine, Pascagoula, MS
* LCU1700 only