171207-N-GR168-0029 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 7, 2017) A landing craft, air cushion travels to the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21). New York, components of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting a Combined Composite Training Unit Exercise that is the culmination of training for the Navy-Marine Corps team and will certify them for deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lyle Wilkie/Released)
The LCAC is a high-speed, non-displacement, fully amphibious craft. Its ability to ride on a cushion of air allows it to operate directly from the well deck of amphibious warfare ships and over dry land.
The LCAC allows the Marine Corps to access more than 70 percent of the world’s beaches, compared to 17 percent for displacement landing craft.
Program Status A service life extension program (SLEP) began in late 2000 for the 72 active LCACs and provides major refurbishment to extend LCAC craft service life from 20 to 30 years. Additionally, 5 years of service life is gained from the Post SLEP Extension (PSE) program. The LCAC 100 class craft, being produced in the Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) program, will be a one-for-one replacement for the in-service LCACs and the LCAC (SLEP) to maintain a fleet inventory of 72 as these craft reach the end of their service lives.
Initial Operating Schedule (IOC) of 6 craft – 2020
Full Operating Schedule (FOC) of 72 craft – 2029*
Textron Marine and Land Systems, Slidell, LA **
Avondale Gulfport, Gulfport, MS***
* FOC year may shift as DoD budgets are increased or decreased.
** Textron Marine produced the legacy LCAC and is currently producing the LCAC 100 class craft.
***Avondale Gulfport Marine produced several of the legacy LCAC but there are no plans for this company to produce any of the LCAC 100 class craft