MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The U.S. Navy awarded Austal USA a $91,535,551 contract to build three Landing Craft Utility 1700 class craft, with an option for nine more boats, Austal announced Wednesday in a news release.

LCUs are carried on amphibious assault ships and used to bring everything from vehicles to personnel from sea to shore and back. According to Austal, LCU carries a payload comparable to the seven C-17 aircraft.

“Austal USA is honored to be able to build this important connector for the U.S. Navy,” said Dave Growden, vice president of new construction projects. “We recognize the critical role this platform plays in supporting expeditionary operations for the Navy and Marine Corps and are looking forward to continuing to deliver ships and boats to our customers on time and on budget.”

This new contract adds to Austal’s portfolio of Navy projects, including ongoing production for two Navy Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships and the Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium, a 90,000-square foot floating dry dock