Textron Awarded $98M in Support of U.S. Navy Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) Program

Textron Inc. has been awarded a modification, worth around $98 million, by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in support of the U.S. Navy’s Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) program.

The modification is for the procurement of additional long-lead-time material (LLTM) for the SSC program, Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 100-class craft 109 through 112, and for the procurement of LLTM and pre-fabrication activities for LCACs 113 through 118.

The SSC program is the functional replacement for the existing fleet of LCACs, which are nearing the end of their service life. It is an air cushion vehicle designed for a 30-year service life. The SSC mission is to land surface assault elements in support of operational maneuver from the sea at over-the-horizon distances while operating from amphibious ships and mobile landing platforms. SSC provides increased performance to handle current and future missions, as well as improvements which will increase craft availability and reduce total ownership cost.

The contract work will be performed in New Orleans, Louisiana (45 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (12 percent); Harahan, Louisiana (10 percent); Huntington Beach, California (6 percent); Eatontown, New Jersey (6 percent); Chesapeake, Virginia (5 percent); Corona, California (4 percent); Metairie, Louisiana (4 percent); Gold Beach, Oregon (3 percent); East Hartford, Connecticut (3 percent); and Riverdale, Iowa (2 percent). The work is expected to be completed by December 2021.

U.S. Navy Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) Program

Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) is a system proposed by the U.S. Navy as a replacement for the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicles.

The SSC is an air cushion vehicle whose mission 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 four MT7 gas turbines that will be used to power each Ship-to-Shore Connector are a derived design of the Rolls-Royce T406 used in the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. Top speed of the craft 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. LCACs have proven to be very useful in supporting non-hostile amphibious operations and were vital in delivering life-saving equipment, food, water, and medical supplies in humanitarian relief efforts throughout the world. It is anticipated that SSC will be called upon to perform in a similar manner.

The SSC program will significantly enhance the Navy and Marine Corps team’s capability to execute a broad spectrum of missions well into the 21st century, from humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) to multidimensional amphibious assault.

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 Navy Design Team progressed through an evolutionary design process, beginning with a Set-Based Design process, where craft level requirements were functionally decomposed into discrete system level functional requirements documents (FRDs). The FRDs formed the functional basis for selecting trade spaces, and to start Preliminary Design. Preliminary Design was followed by a Contract Design period, which developed the Allocated Baseline and formed the basis for the SSC contract solicitation.

The Navy-led contract design, released to industry in a full and open competition, allowed for mid-tier builders without air cushioned vehicle experience to compete for the detail design and construction contract. This approach uses the government’s expertise in air cushioned vehicles and provides industry the flexibility to make component selections and complete design details for optimal producibility and low acquisition costs.

The Detail, Design and Construction (DD&C) contract was awarded to Textron, Inc., New Orleans, LA., whose major subcontractors are L-3 Communications of Camden, NJ, GE Dowty of Great Britain, Rolls-Royce Naval Marine of Indianapolis, IN, Innovative Power Solutions of Eatontown, NJ, R. Cushman & Associates of Farmington, MI, and Umoe Mandal of Norway. Other subcontractors include Marvin Land Systems of Inglewood, CA, Donaldson Company, Inc. of Minneapolis, MN, Exlar Corporation of Chanhassen, MA, Advanced Composite Products & Technology of Huntington Beach, CA, Supreme Integrated Technology of Harahan, LA, and Technology Dynamics, Inc. of Bergenfield, New Jersey.

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 projected for fiscal year 2020.

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