New Navy Hovercraft: Test Craft Production Starts

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Textron Systems New Orleans is holding a ceremony to mark the start of production of the Navy’s newest hovercraft – a landing craft designed to haul vehicles, heavy equipment, and supplies over water and beaches.

The company says in a news release that the “Ship to Shore Connector” now in early construction will be a test and training craft. It’s expected to be completed in 2017.

Spokesman Tom Williams said Monday that work on production models is expected to start early next year.

The Navy says parent company Textron Inc. of New Orleans has subcontractors in at least five other states and the United Kingdom. U.S. subcontractors include Rolls-Royce Naval Marine of Indianapolis, Indiana. GE Avionics’ Dowty Propellers, based in Gloucester, England, made the propellers in the current landing hovercraft.

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