US Navy awards $18m contract to build new LCU

Swiftships’ 26-metre fast patrol craft is one of its extensive range.

The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Louisiana-based Swiftships a US$18 million fixed-price incentive contract for the detail design and construction of a new landing craft utility (LCU 1700) by July 2020.

Designed to replace the LCU 1610 series, the LCU 1700 will measure 42.4 metres by 9.4 metres and have a full-load displacement of 434.9 tonnes.

Accommodating a crew of 13, it will have a range of 1200 nautical miles at eight knots. The LCU 1700 will be capable of transporting two M1A1 tanks or 350 combat troops, or 400 people, or 154.2 tonnes of cargo.

The contract contains options for the construction of up to 31 craft, if all options are exercised, in 2027.

Should all be built, the cumulative value will be US$429.4 million.

The base work will be performed in Morgan City (83 per cent), Houston, Texas (15 per cent) and Virginia Beach, Virginia (two per cent).

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