Swiftships gets $18m to build first US Navy LCU 1700

LCUs are used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. Photo: US Navy

The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Louisiana-based Swiftships an $18 million contract for the detail design and construction of the first of a new generation of landing craft – Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) 1700.

Swiftships will be responsible for delivering the LCU 1700 detail design and construction of one craft (including data license rights) approximately 31 months after contract award.

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

Should all 31 craft be built, the cumulative value of the contract will be $429.4 million, according to the US Navy.

The base work will mostly be performed in Morgan City, Louisiana, and is expected to be completed by July 2020.

According to a US Navy fact file, the new LCU 1700 class will be approximately 139 feet (42.4 meters) long with a beam of 31 feet (9.4 meters) and a displacement of approximately 428 long tons (434.9 metric tons) full load.

The craft will have a range of 1200 nautical miles at 8 knots and a crew of 13. They will be capable of transporting two M1A1 tanks or 350 combat troops, or 400 persons, or 170 short tons of cargo (151.8 long tons or 154.2 metric tons).

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