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LCAC 1-go Class

The Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) is a high-speed, over-the-beach fully amphibious landing craft capable of carrying a 60-75 ton payload. It is used to transport weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel from ship to shore and across the beach. The amphibious capability allows this vehicle to reach more than 70 percent of the world's coastline, while conventional landing craft can land at only 15 percent of the world's coasts. Additionally, it allows the JDA to provide humanitarian assistance to its citizens located in remote coastal areas in times of natural disasters, such as was needed during the Kobe earthquake of 1995. The LCAC allows the transportation of large quantities of food, supplies and medicines, as well as the ability to carry out evacuations in areas previously accessible only by helicopter.

The JSDF's first hovercraft-type transport "Aircushion" is capable of both land and sea travel. The vehicle hovers 1.2m above water/ground via air-power and can reach speeds of 40knots (74km/h). With a loading capacity of 50tons and overall length of 27m, the hovercraft is capable of transporting 1 Type-90 tank or over 10 light vehicles. The LCAC has a crew of 5 and can also accommodate 24 JGSDF troops.

The Landing Ship Tank (LST) and LCAC, operating in tandem, can be considered one system. Each Osumi class ship carries 2 LCACs. For the procurement of this system, domestic production, importing through trading houses, and Foreign Military Sales were combined. The Japan Maritime Staff Office (MSO) believes that this purchasing process could become a standard model of procurement for future buys because it utilizes the collective systems effectively and results in the optimization of both the procurement process and the operations process, while remaining economically sound.

Textron Marine was awarded a contract from the Yamada International Corporation for LCACs, as well as spares and support services--for the Japan Defense Agency (JDA). Craft 1 and 2 were delivered in 1997. The delivery of craft three and four took place in the 4th quarter of 2001 and the 1st quarter of 2002 respectively.

On 16 June 1998, the transportation ship "Osumi" conducted the first training using LCAC in Ooshima (Tokyo) offing. "Osumi" has a large deck of carrier type and several large-sized helicopters can take off and landing simultaneously. And more, "Osumi" keeps a hovercraft type LCAC.

On October 25, 1999, the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) was established on the basis of Security Council Resolution 1272. UNTAET was given overall responsibility for governing East Timor and empowered to exercise all legislative, executive, and judicial functions. In connection with the dispatch of units and other personnel to East Timor a Maritime Self-Defense Force transport unit comprising a transport ship and an escort ship transported some engineer unit personnel and equipment. Because of inadequate port facilities, LCACs (landing craft, air cushioned) were used to land supplies at Dili, Suai, and Oecussi. The transport ship also provided accommodation and meals for some engineer unit personnel and transported additional supplies from Darwin, Australia.

On 22 May 22 2001 Textron Marine & Land Systems (TM&LS) was awarded a contract by Yamada International Corporation that is valued at over $91,000,000 US. This contract was for the purchase of two Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) and includes spares and other support services. This latest contract, for craft 5 and 6, brought the total number of craft ordered by Yamada, for the Japan Defense Agency (JDA), to a quantity of six. Craft 5 and 6 were delivered in the last half of 2002.

A team consisting of Textron Marine, Mitsubishi Precision Company, Yamada, and Link Simulation and Training has been awarded a $24 million contract for the purchase of an LCAC full- mission trainer (FMT) for the JDA. The FMT simulates LCAC operations on diversified terrain and in varying sea states and wind conditions. A complete visual and aural system allows the FMT to simulate the LCAC's operational environment, including well-deck operations.



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