Navy expects SSC deliveries in 2020 but technical, production issues remain

By Justin Katz / January 23, 2020 at 11:19 AM

The Navy expects to receive several Ship to Shore Connectors this year, but residual issues revealed in last year's budget request remain, according to a service official overseeing the program.

In terms of "the backlog from the delays we've seen from the program already -- I think there is plenty of production and test work to still be done at Textron as we head into the future acquisition plan," Matt Sermon, executive director for Program Executive Office Ships, said last week at the Surface Navy Association's annual conference.

Textron Systems Marine & Land Systems, which built the Navy's current Landing Craft Air Cushion fleet, is the prime contractor for the SSCs. Inside Defense reported last August the company was preparing for SSC builder’s trials.

The Navy's fiscal year 2020 budget request did not include any SSCs, a combat hovercraft for transporting personnel and ground equipment from sea to land, because of delivery delays in recent years. However, lawmakers did provide an additional $65 million in the FY-20 budget for one vessel.

Sermon also said the program had "not atypical first-of-class kind of integration issues."

The Navy "expect[s] to be delivering Ship to Shore Connectors in [2020], probably two to three of them," he said. But "we do have still some technical issues that we have to resolve before we're delivering fleet capability there on the craft."