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Landing Craft, Mechanized and Utility - LCM/LCU

Mechanized and utility landing craft are rugged, steel displacement vessels used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops from ship to the shore, along the shore, and from shore back to the amphibious warships. 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 suitable beachheads or piers. LCMs have a bow ramp for onload/offload. 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.
Program Status
The contract for the detail design and construction of the LCU 1700 class was awarded to Swiftships, LLC on 30 March 2018. Detail design of the craft is in progress. The LCU 1700 class will replace the existing 32 LCU 1610 craft on a one for one basis.
Point Of Contact
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)
Naval Sea Systems Command
Washington, D.C. 20376
General Characteristics, LCU 1610, 1627, 1646 and 1680 Classes (referred to as the LCU 1610 Class)
Propulsion: 2- Detroit 12V-71 Diesel engines, twin shaft, 680 hp sustained, Kort nozzles
Length: 134 feet, 9 inches (41.1 meters)
Beam: 29 feet, 10 inches (9.1 meters)
Displacement: 200 long tons (203.21 metric tons) light; 432.3 tons (386 long, 392.2 metric) max displacement
Speed: 11 kts (12.7 mph, 20.3 kph)
Range: 1200 nautical miles at 8 knots
Crew: 13
Load: 140 tons (125 long, 127 metric)
Military Lift: M1A1 tanks (1), LAVs (6) or 350 troops; or 400 persons or 140 short tons of cargo (125 long tons or 127 metric tons)
Armament: 2 - 12.7mm MGs, 2 - 7.62mm MGs
Electronics: Furuno Radar Navigation; C4I up-grade under development
General Characteristics, LCM 8 Type Class
Propulsion: 2- Detroit 12V-71 Diesel engines, 450hp sustained, twin shafts
Length: 73.7 feet (22.5 meters)
Beam: 21 feet (6.4 meters)
Displacement: 128 long tons (116 metric tons) full load
Speed: 10 kts (11.5 mph, 18.5 kph)
Range: 400 nautical miles at 9 kts
Crew: 3
Load: Military Lift: 2-HMMWVs or 1 Bulldozer or 1-Stryker Combat Vehicle, or 1- MTVR or 100 troops or 60 short tons of cargo (53.6 long tons or 54.4 metric tons)
General Characteristics, LCM 6 Type Class
Propulsion: 2- Detroit 6-71 Diesel engines, 348 hp sustained, twin shaft, or 2- Detroit 8V-71 Diesel engines, 460 hp sustained, twin shaft
Length: 56.2 feet (17.1 meters)
Beam: 14 feet (4.3 meters)
Displacement: 64 long tons (65.03 metric tons) full load
Speed: 9 kts (10.3 mph, 16.6 kph)
Range: 130 nautical miles at 9 knots
Crew: 5
Load: Military Lift: 38.1 short tons of cargo (34 long tons or 34.55 metric tons) or 80 troops
General Characteristics, General Characteristics of the future LCU 1700 Class (Notional)
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) at full load
Speed: 11 knots (12.7 mph, 20.3 kph)
Range: 1200 nautical miles at 8 knots
Crew: 13
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
Last Update: 17 January 2019
Photo - LCU assigned to the Surf Riders of Assault Craft Unit One
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