United States
April 3, 2024


Mobile, Ala. – Austal USA celebrated the start of construction on the U.S. Navy Landing Craft Utility (LCU) at the company’s Mobile, Ala. ship manufacturing facility today.  Austal USA was awarded a $91.5 million contract in September 2023 that includes three LCU and associated support efforts.

Austal USA was honored to have U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Karsten S. Heckl, Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration (DC, CD&I), as a key speaker at today’s event.  LCUs have been a key amphibious asset to the Marines for decades. 

“The LCU provides strategic value and versatility to the Navy-Marine Corps team,” said Heckl. “These landing craft will significantly enhance our sea-based Marine Air-Ground Task Forces and Marine Expeditionary Units, providing them with unparalleled flexibility, and the capability to maneuver Marines, sailors and equipment in environments unreachable by other means.”

“Austal USA is eager to begin construction on the first of these important connectors for the U.S. Navy,” commented Dave Growden, vice president of new construction programs. “Having General Heckl join the Austal USA team today in honor of this milestone sends a strong message on the critical role this platform plays in supporting expeditionary operations for the Navy and Marine Corps.  We are excited to roll these vessels down the assembly line and into the fleet.”

LCU are carried aboard amphibious assault ships to the objective area and used across a range of military operations to deliver vehicles, personnel and cargo from sea-to-shore and back. These connectors provide a heavy-lift capability and can carry about the same payload capacity as seven C-17 aircraft.

Austal USA’s steel line has been active since beginning operation two years ago.  Steel shipbuilding production is ongoing for two Navy Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) and the Navy’s 90,800 square-foot Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM).  Austal USA also holds multi-ship contracts for the Navy’s TAGOS-25 ocean surveillance ship and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Heritage-class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program which is scheduled to start construction this summer.

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