For the foreseeable future, in order to get significant forces from ship-to-shore the Marine Corps will rely on the Navy’s fleet of specialized vessels, the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). First deployed in 1984, the LCAC revolutionized amphibious operations. The LCAC is a high-speed air cushion platform that floats just above the water. It is capable of carrying heavy payloads and large numbers of Marines from the well deck of an amphibious ship stationed up to 100 miles at sea not just to the water’s edge but over the beach. The new Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) is an evolutionary advance over the venerable LCAC. The SSC will have an increased payload, greater reliability, higher availability and reduced operating costs. In addition, the SSC will come equipped with more powerful Rolls Royce engines and a new command, control, communications, computers, and navigation (C4N) suite by L-3. I have written more about this topic for The National Interest here.
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