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Landing Craft Utility 1646 Class

The LCU 1646 transports wheeled and tracked equipment and general cargo from ship to shore, shore to shore, and in retrograde operations. Although the Navy now has a newer craft, the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), the LCUs have the backbone for heavier loads. Its development and design updated the landing craft used in World War II, made famous by the invasion of Normandy Beach. However, it requires a 9 foot draft beneath its keel to operate safely, making it less versatile than the LCAC, which flies on top of water or ground. Another difference between the two landing craft is the LCU is home away from home for its crew, because it can operate independent of the amphibious ships on which it embarks. It contains living compartments that include sleeping quarters, a wash room with shower, a clothes washer and dryer, a lounge and a complete galley, making them able to operate at sea for up to 10 days. LCUs have both bow and stern ramps for onload/offload.
Landing Craft Utility 1646 Class Copyright © Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bradley J. Gee, U.S. Navy


In active service


13 Operating Crew


400 troops
- OR -
2 x M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank
- OR -
10 x Light Armored Vehicle
- OR -
125 tons of cargo 137,79 short tons of cargo


Length: 41.1 meters 134 feet
Beam: 9.1 meters 29 feet
Displacement (Light): 203.21 metric tons 200 long tons
Displacement (Full Load): 381.2 metric tons 375 long tons
Propulsion: two Detroit 12V-71 Diesel engines, twin shaft
Performance: 680 horsepower
Speed: 11 knots (20.3 kilometers per hour) (12.66 miles per hour)
Range: ~1 931 kilometers (at 8 knots) 1 200 miles (at 8 knots)