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Landing Craft Utility

LCU ImageLanding Craft Utility (LCU) and Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM-8) are integral to the amphibious mission because they provide the means of heavy transportation between shipping and beach landing sites ashore. LCUs are normally carried to various operating areas in the well decks of Navy amphibious ships, whereas LCM-8s are embarked in merchant ships that store and transport United States Marine Corps vehicles and cargo to operating areas.

The mission of the LCU is to transport tanks and vehicles, troops and cargo during amphibious operations. The LCU is a self-sustaining craft complete with living accommodations and messing facilities for a crew of ten. Each LCU is assigned an Officer-in-Charge who is either a Chief Petty Officer or First Class Petty Officer in the Boatswain’s Mate rating. The LCU has an un-refueled range of 1,200 nautical miles at 10 knots and can carry provisions for 14 days.

LCM-8s carry the same types of payloads, but in smaller amounts. Today, LCM-8 crews support the Maritime Pre-positioning Force mission. Each LCM-8 has a four-man crew led by an Assault Boat Coxswain.

Landing Craft Utility

Length - 135 Ft
Beam - 30 Ft
Draft - (Forward, Full Load) - 4 Ft
(Aft, Full Load) - 7 Ft
Cargo Capacity - 155 Tons
Troop Capacity - 400
Range - 1,200 NM