Landing Craft Utility

The Landing Craft Utility (LCU) is a type of boat used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. They are capable of transporting tracked or wheeled vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to beachheads or piers.


Class overview
Name: Golfo de Tribugá class
Builders: COTECMAR
Operators:  Colombian National Navy
 Guatemalan Navy
 Honduran Navy
Preceded by: LCU-1466-class landing ship utility
In service: 2014–present
In commission: 2014–present
Completed: 8
Active: 8
General characteristics
Type: Landing Craft Utility
Displacement: 574.6 t (633.4 short tons)
Length: 49.0 m (160.8 ft)
Beam: 11.0 m (36.1 ft)
Draught: 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in)
Propulsion: 2 × Caterpillar C18 diesel motors, 412 kW (553 shp)
Speed: 8.5 knots (15.7 km/h; 9.8 mph)
  • 1,500 nmi (2,800 km) at 8.5 kn (15.7 km/h)
  • 2,500 nmi (4,600 km) at 6 kn (11 km/h)
  • 20 days with 51 crew.
  • 40 days with 15 crew.
Capacity: 120 t (130 short tons)
Troops: 36
Complement: 15 (3 officers)

The Golfo de Tribugá-class landing craft is an LCU developed by COTECMAR for the Colombian National Navy. The vessel class is also known as BDA (Spanish: Buque de Desembarco Anfibio) and an unarmored version for logistical and humanitarian services has also been developed, known as BALC (Spanish: Buque de Apoyo Logístico y Cabotaje).[1]



The Engin de débarquement amphibie rapide (EDA-R) landing catamaran or L-CAT, entered service in January 2011. They can carry a main battle tank like other European LCUs but are capable of much higher speeds, up to 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph).


Germany has two Barbe-class utility landing craft (Type 520), dating from the mid-1960s, which remain in service under the SEK-M Naval Special Forces' command. Germany is looking to acquire more such crafts. Five Barbe landing crafts were transferred to Greece at the end of the Cold War.


India currently has three Kumbhir class LCU and six Mk IV class LCU. Currently two more MK IV class of LCU are under construction at GRSE.


Class overview
Name: LCU Mk.II (NL) class
Operators:  Royal Netherlands Navy, Netherlands Marine Corps
Active: 5
General characteristics
Type: Ro-Ro landing craft
Displacement: 255 tonnes (251 long tons)
Length: 36.3 m (119 ft 1 in)
Beam: 6.85 m (22 ft 6 in)
  • .85 m (2 ft 9 in) forward, full load
  • 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) aft, full load
Capacity: 65 tonnes (64 long tons)
Complement: 7
Armament: 2 × Browning .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine guns

With the launch of the amphibious transport ship HNLMS Rotterdam in 1998 there was a need for LCUs. The Dutch LCUs are similar to the British LCU Mk.10 with the bridge being set to one side allowing for a roll-on roll-off design. Until 2005 the Netherlands Marine Corps used the LCU Mark I (NL).

In 2005 and 2006 the five vessels were modernized to the type Mark II. The vessels have been stretched by 9 meters to decrease their draft, which increased their load carrying capacity by 20 tons and allows them to come closer to shore. In addition they were fitted with a strengthened bow ramp, and they can now accommodate the Royal Netherlands Army Leopard 2 A6 main battle tank. Because of the lengthening of the Mark II, the Rotterdam can take two LCUs (plus three LCVPs) in its dock. The dock of Rotterdam's sister ship, HNLMS Johan de Witt, has the capacity to transport two LCUs, but carries four LCVPs in davits.



Class overview
Name: Dyugon-class landing craft
Operators:  Russian Navy
General characteristics
  • 280 long tons (284 t) light
  • 340 long tons (345 t) full load
Length: 169 ft (52 m)
Beam: 36 ft (11 m)
  • 8 ft (2.4 m) light
  • 7 ft (2.1 m) loaded
  • 3 ft (0.91 m) beaching draft at the bow
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)
  • 2,000 nmi (3,700 km) at 13 kn (24 km/h) light
  • 1,500 nmi (2,800 km) at 11 kn (20 km/h) loaded
Complement: 7
Armament: 2 KPV 14.5 mm machine guns

The Dyugon-class landing craft are operated by the Russian Navy


Class overview
Name: Swedish: Lätt trossbåt
Builders: Djupviks varv

 Swedish Navy

 United Arab Emirates Navy
Built: 1995-
Active: 16
General characteristics
Type: Fast landing craft
Displacement: 65 tonnes (64 long tons)
Length: 24.6 m (80 ft 9 in)
Beam: 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in)
Draft: 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 3 x Scania V8 Water jet (3 x 675 hp)
Speed: 25 knots
Troops: 18

1 × 12.7 mm machine gun

Mines and depth charges

Sweden operates 16 small and fast (25 kt) water jet landing crafts (Swedish: Lätt trossbåt) with a displacement of 65 tones. They are armed with one 12,7 mm machine gun but can also lay out mines and is equipped with armour for anti submarine warfare. The vessel type has been exported to the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, HSwMS Loke (A344) is a larger vessel at a displacement of 305 tones, capable of carrying 150 tones. The ship has a crew of 7 and is armed with two 7,62 mm machine guns.


Class overview
Name: LCM-1E
Builders: Navantia
Preceded by: LCM-8
Planned: 30
Completed: 26
Active: 24
Retired: 2
General characteristics
Type: Roll-on/roll-off landing craft mechanised
  • 56.6 tonnes (55.7 long tons; 62.4 short tons) light
  • 110 tonnes (110 long tons; 120 short tons) loaded
Length: 23.3 metres (76 ft)
Beam: 6.4 metres (21 ft)
Draught: 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) loaded
Ramps: Bow ramp and stern gate
  • 2 × MAN D-2842 LE 402X diesel engines (809 kW each)
  • 2 × waterjets
  • 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) light
  • 13.5 knots (25.0 km/h; 15.5 mph) loaded
Range: 190 nautical miles (350 km; 220 mi) at economic speed
  • 1 × main battle tank, or
  • 1 × self-propelled howitzer plus resupply vehicle, or
  • 2 × MOWAG Piranha, or
  • 6 × light tactical vehicles, or
  • 170 personnel with equipment
Complement: 4

The Armada has 26 LCM-1E in service since 2001 and has been exported to Australia and Turkey.

United Kingdom

LCU Mk.9 (now retired)
Class overview
Name: Landing Craft Utility
Operators:  Royal Navy, Royal Marines
Subclasses: LCU Mk.9 and LCU Mk.10
Active: 10 LCU Mk.10s
Retired: LCU Mk.9s
General characteristics LCU Mk.10[4]
Displacement: 240 t (240 long tons; 260 short tons)
Length: 97 ft 10 in (29.82 m)
Beam: 25 ft 3 in (7.70 m)
Draught: 4 ft 11 in (1.50 m)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN D2840 LE diesel engines (400 kW / 2150 r.p.m. each)
Speed: 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Range: 600 nautical miles (1,100 km)
Capacity: 1 main battle tank, 4 large vehicles, or 120 troops

LCU Mk.9

The LCU Mk.9 was built for use on the LPDs Fearless and Intrepid where they were operated from the dock in the rear of the ships.[5] Each ship carried four LCUs and four davit mounted LCVPs. The Mk.9 was to see many changes and upgrades during its service including a move from propeller to jet in many cases. The Mk.9 was capable of traveling as an ocean-going vessel and a number would be converted into a version, affectionately known as the "Black Pig", for use in Norway. The crew had full living quarters aboard with galley and heads. The opinion that the successful British amphibious operations during the Falklands War were only possible because of the two LPDs and their landing craft is well documented. In the Falklands War during the Bluff Cove Air Attacks LCU F4 from Fearless was bombed and sunk in Choiseul Sound by an Argentine Air Force A-4B Skyhawk of Grupo 5.[6] The Mk.9, like the LPDs, served longer than ever anticipated, providing the backbone of Britain's amphibious assault capabilities.

Three Mk.9s, pennant numbers 701, 705, and 709, remained in service by 2012.[5][7] However, by 2014, they had all been withdrawn from service.[8]

LCU Mk.10

The LCU Mk.10 class vessels are operated by the Royal Marines. They are intended for use on board the new assault ships Albion and Bulwark and can use the Bay class landing ships. Deliveries of the class started from 1998 and the fleet currently consists of ten vessels, bearing pennant numbers 1001 to 1010. Both Albion and Bulwark are capable of carrying four LCUs each. These vessels are capable of operating independently for up to 14 days with a range of 600 nautical miles. They are capable of operating worldwide, from Arctic operating areas to tropical operating areas. The Mk.10 differs greatly from the Mk.9 with the bridge being set to the side allowing for a roll-on roll-off design. This greatly increases efficiency over the old Mk.9 as loading of the rear LCUs can take place without the LCUs being launched, the LPD having to dock down to do so, to change over and load up, which was a problem prior to the Falklands landings. The LCU Mk.10 has a 7-man crew and can carry up to 120 Marines or alternatively 1 battle tank or 4 lorries. British assault ships also carry smaller LCVPs on davits to transport troops and light vehicles.

All ten Mk.10s, pennant numbers 1001 to 1010, remain in service as of 2012.[7]

United States

LCU 1466, 1610 and 1627 classes

Class overview
Name: LCU 1466, 1610 and 1627 classes
Operators:  United States Navy
Active: 32[9]
General characteristics
Displacement: see table
Length: see table
Beam: see table
Draft: see table
Propulsion: see table
Speed: see table
Range: see table
Endurance: 10 days[9]
Capacity: see table
Troops: see table
Sensors and
processing systems:
LN 66 or SPS-53 I band navigation radar
Armament: 2 × Browning .50 caliber machine guns

The LCU 1466, 1610 and 1627 class vessels are operated by the United States Navy at support commands.[10][11] They are a self-sustaining craft complete with living accommodations and mess facilities for a crew of thirteen.[9] They have been adapted for many uses including salvage operations, ferry boats for vehicles and passengers, and underwater test platforms. Each LCU is assigned a non-commissioned-officer-in-charge (NCOIC) (Craft Master) who is either a Chief Petty Officer or Petty Officer First Class in the Boatswain’s Mate, Quartermaster or Operations Specialist rating. These vessels have bow ramps for onload/offload, and can be linked bow to stern gate to create a temporary pier-like structure. Its welded steel hull provides high durability with deck loads of 800 pounds per square foot. Arrangement of machinery and equipment has taken into account built-in redundancy in the event of battle damage. The craft features two engine rooms separated by a watertight bulkhead to permit limited operation in the event that one engine room is disabled. An anchor system is installed on the starboard side aft to assist in retracting from the beach. These vessels are normally transported to their areas of operation onboard larger amphibious vessels such as LSDs, LHDs and LHAs. The 40-year-old craft will be replaced under the Surface Connector (X) Recapitalization, or SC(X)R, project starting in FY2017.[9]

[10][11][12] LCU 1466 LCU 1610 LCU 1627
Displacement – light180 long tons (183 t)172 long tons (175 t)200 long tons (203 t)
Displacement – fulln/a353 long tons (359 t)386 long tons (392 t)
Length overall115 ft 1 in (35.08 m)134 ft 9 in (41.07 m)134 ft 9 in (41.07 m)
Beam34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)29 ft 10 in (9.09 m)29 ft 10 in (9.09 m)
Draft – full load, forward6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)4 ft 10 in (1.47 m)6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Draft – full load, aft2 ft 9 in (0.84 m)3 ft 6 in (1.07 m)3 ft 6 in (1.07 m)
Power – sustained675 hp (503 kW)1,000 hp (746 kW)680 hp (507 kW)
Propulsion3 x Gray Marine diesel engines2 x Detroit 12V-71 diesel engines4 x Detroit diesel engines
Speed8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
Range1,200 nmi (2,200 km) at 6 kn (11 km/h)1,200 nmi (2,200 km) at 8 kn (15 km/h)1,200 nmi (2,200 km) at 6 kn (11 km/h)
Capacity – troops300400350
Capacity – cargo167 long tons (170 t)180 long tons (183 t)125 long tons (127 t)

LCU 2000

Class overview
Name: LCU 2000 class
Operators:  United States Army
General characteristics
  • 575 long tons (584 t) light
  • 1,087 long tons (1,104 t) full load
Length: 174 ft (53 m)
Beam: 42 ft (13 m)
  • 9 ft (2.7 m) light
  • 8 ft (2.4 m) loaded
  • 4 ft (1.2 m) beaching draft at the bow
Speed: 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)
  • 10,000 nmi (19,000 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h) light
  • 6,500 nmi (12,000 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h) loaded
Complement: 13

The Runnymede class large landing craft or LCU 2000 class vessels are operated by the United States Army.[13][14] They transport rolling and tracked vehicles, containers, and outsized and general cargo from ships offshore to shore, as well as to areas that cannot be reached by oceangoing vessels (coastal, harbor, and intercoastal waterways). It can be self-deployed or transported aboard a float-on/float-off vessel. It is classed for full ocean service and one-man engine room operations and is built to U.S. Coast Guard standards. The vessel can sustain a crew of 2 warrant officers and 11 enlisted personnel for up to 18 days, and 10,000 miles. This class is also equipped with an aft anchor to assist in retracting from the beach.

In literature

Cap'n Fatso is the second book in a series of three by Daniel V. Gallery that feature Boatswain's Mate First Class John "Fatso" Gioninni. Fatso is the commander of an LCU that, while on a special supply errand for his LSD's captain, is left behind in the Mediterranean Sea when the whole Sixth Fleet unexpectedly leaves for Vietnam. Through a series of accidents and misunderstandings Fatso and his crew are left without orders or attachment to any fleet and decide to "search the Mediterranean Sea for the Sixth Fleet". Hilarity ensues when they play practical jokes on the Russian fleet and make an "official" visit to Israel during the Six-Day War.[15]


  2. (Press release) (in Spanish). Diario de Centro América. 13 November 2019 recibe buque BL-1601 Quetzal recibe buque BL-1601 Quetzal Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 13 November 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. "Colombia entrega a Honduras buque elaborado por Cotecmar" (Press release) (in Spanish). COTECMAR. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  4. "Landing Craft LCU MK 10" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  5. The Royal Navy Handbook, page 106
  6. "British Ships sunk and damaged - Falklands War 1982".
  7. "The Military Balance 2012", International Institute for Strategic Studies, pp. 170–171
  8. Bush, Steve (2014). British Warships and Auxiliaries. Maritime Books. pp. 35–39. ISBN 1904459552.
  9. Scott, Richard (28 January 2013). "US scopes objectives for new surface connector workhorse". Jane's Navy International.
  10. Friedman, Norman (2002). U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 390. ISBN 1557502501.
  11. "Landing Craft Utility (LCU)". NavSource Photo Archives. NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  12. Petty, Dan. "The US Navy -- Fact File: Landing Craft, Mechanized and Utility - LCM/LCU".
  13. Marge Holtz, Lisa Gates (October 29, 1998). "Creative thinking offers stowage solution". Military Sealift Command. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
  14. Spc. Morrene E. Randell (5 September 2007). "Army Boat Supports Dive Teams Trying to Raise Russian Sub".
  15. Cap'n Fatso (Norton, 1969)
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.