The US Navy’s next-generation landing craft, Ship to Shore Connector (SSC), Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC), has concluded well deck interoperability testing.

The SSC LCAC vehicle completed the testing with the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship, USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), confirming its readiness for fleet integration.

This test event was carried out under the first phase of ship interface testing through a collaboration between Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships, USS Carter Hall, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, and other stakeholders.

Carter Hall commanding officer commander LaDonna Simpson said: “Working alongside Program Executive Office Ships, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division and other stakeholders to provide the fleet with a modernised and more capable Ship to Shore Connector makes our navy better in every way.”

To confirm user requirements, the craft was put through several well deck entries and exits from USS Carter Hall.

LCAC 103 was recently delivered, with its fly away to NSWC Panama City.

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At present, LCACs 104 – 116 are undergoing serial production under the programme.

Four more craft are slated to be delivered later this year.

PEO Ships Amphibious Assault and Connectors Programmes programme manager captain Scot Searles said: “This is an exciting period for the ship to shore connector programme as we continue to validate user requirements and get the craft ready for their eventual fleet tasking.

“The success of the well deck testing and other recent evolutions validates these modernised craft will be a game-changer for the Navy/Marine Corps team as they execute various missions in the maritime domain.”

In June last year, the US Navy took the delivery of the next-generation landing craft, SSC, LCAC 102.