Fincantieri, Boeing to build hovercraft fleet

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and aerospace company Boeing have teamed up to win a new US Navy hovercraft fleet contract.

The agreement, which was awarded under the Sea Base-to-Shore Connector (SSC) programme, was announced in Washington, USA, on May 4. From an operational perspective, Fincantieri will be involved, through its American subsidiary, Marinette Marine Corporation. Boeing will be involved in the programme through Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. In the tender for the SSC programme, which will be launched in 2010, Marinette Marine will take the role of prime contractor for the vessels, which are to be built at its shipyards in Wisconsin, while Boeing Rotorcraft Systems will be responsible for propulsion and avionics. The ten-year SSC programme provides for the construction of 80 hovercraft, worth US$4 billion, to replace the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), which was introduced between 1984 and 2001.

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