Swiftships is being awarded a U.S. Navy contract for the detailed design and construction of the Landing Craft, Utility 1700 (LCU 1700).
The fixed-price incentive contract, worth around $18 million, is being awarded by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) located in Washington, District of Columbia. Fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding for the amount will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Swiftships is contracted to deliver the LCU 1700 detail design and construction of one craft (including data license rights) approximately 31 months after contract award, with options for the construction of up to 31 craft with the latest delivery date, if all options are exercised, in 2027.
This solicitation also includes options for product support, technical manuals; up to 10,000 hours of special studies services; a technical data package; and orders for interim support, engineering and industrial services, training, and shipping. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $429,422,280 based on a most likely option exercise scenario and exclusive of any orders.
The base work will be performed in Morgan City, Louisiana (83 percent); Houston, Texas (15 percent); and Virginia Beach, Virginia (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by July 2020.
Landing Craft Utility
Landing Craft Utility is rugged, steel displacement vessel used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. Landing craft are also used to support civilian humanitarian/maritime operations.
Landing craft are capable of transporting cargo, tracked and/or wheeled vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to beachheads or piers. LCUs have both bow and stern ramps for onload/offload and have the ability to operate independently at sea for up to 10 days. A temporary causeway can be created by several LCUs connected bow to stern to support roll-through offload to the shore. LCUs are heavy lift craft and have over twice the payload and six times the range of air cushion type landing craft.
The use of landing craft in amphibious assault dates from World War II. The craft are carried aboard amphibious assault ships to the objective area. Landing craft are used across the range of military operations to deliver vehicles, personnel and cargo from the sea to the shore and from shore to shore. LCUs are also used to support Building Partnership missions, to provide dive team or small boat support, to assist in port clearing, to conduct limited surveillance and to support many other missions enabled by their intratheater range and independent operations capability.
The U.S. Navy LCUs were first built in 1959, and the 32 craft still in service average more than 43 years old – well over the 25 years of service life they were built for. The crafts will be replaced by new LCU 1700 class vessels by the Surface Connector X Replacement (SC(X)R) acquisition program.
General Characteristics, Notional Characteristics of the future LCU 1700 Class
Propulsion: 2 – Diesel propulsion with Kort nozzles, 500 hp sustained; twin shaft
Length: approximately 139 feet (42.4 meters)
Beam: approximately 31 feet (9.4 meters)
Displacement: approximately 428 long tons (434.9 metric tons) full load
Speed: 11 knots (12.7 mph, 20.3 kph)
Range: 1200 nautical miles at 8 knots
Load: Military Lift: M1A1 tanks (2), or 350 combat troops, or 400 persons, or 170 short tons of cargo (151.8 long tons or 154.2 metric tons)
Armament: mounts for four crew served weapons
Electronics: commercial navigation radar; military communications suite; Amphibious Assault Direction System