Rolls-Royce Corp. is awarded a contract modification, worth around $41 million, to supply 20 production MT7 marine gas turbine engines in support of the U.S. Navy’s Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) program.
The newly procured gas turbine engines will be used to power Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 100 class craft 109 through 113 with each craft incorporating four MT7 engines. MT7 is a derived design of the Rolls-Royce AE 1107C-Liberty (T406) turboshaft engine used in the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.
Work to be performed includes production of the MT7 engines and delivery to Textron Marine Systems for the assembly of the LCAC 100 class craft. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is expected to be completed by January, 2020.
The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) located at Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity, working in conjunction with the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) located in Patuxent River, Maryland.
U.S. Navy Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) Program
Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) is an air cushion vehicle (hovercraft) system under development for the U.S. Navy as a replacement for its existing Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicle fleet, which are nearing the end of their service life.
The program is the first major naval acquisition program in more than 15 years to be designed “in-house” by the Navy rather than by private industry. The craft is being built by Textron Marine & Land Systems and the major subcontractors are L-3 Communications, GE Dowty, Rolls-Royce Naval Marine, Innovative Power Solutions, R. Cushman & Associates, and Umoe Mandal.
Top speed of the craft, to be powered by four Rolls-Royce MT7 marine gas turbine engines, will be 50 kn (58 mph; 93 km/h). An enclosed personnel transport module can be loaded aboard the craft that can hold up to 145 combat-equipped Marines or 108 casualty personnel.
The primary mission of the SSC is to land surface assault elements in support of Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS), at over-the-horizon distances, while operating from amphibious ships and mobile landing platforms. LCACs/SSCs can haul vehicles, heavy equipment, and supplies through varied environmental conditions.
The SSC program will significantly enhance the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team’s capability to execute a broad spectrum of missions from humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) to multidimensional amphibious assault.
The SSC Program of Record is for a total of 73 craft (one Test and Training (LCAC 100) and 72 operational craft). Deliveries will begin in fiscal year 2018 with initial operational capability (IOC) projected for fiscal year 2020. The SSC has a designed lifetime of 30 years.