Textron [TXT] has been awarded a $212.7-million contract by the Navy for the first of the next generation of amphibious landing craft designed for launch from ships to ferry Marines, vehicles, weapons and supplies to shore.

The contract contains options for an additional eight Ship-to-Shore Connectors (SSC) that could bring its total value to $570.5 million. The initial part of the contract covers detailed design and the first hovercraft for testing and training.

Textron’s team included L3 Communications [LLL] and Alcoa [AA]. The partnership beat out a team consisting of Marinette Marine, Lockheed Martin [LMT], GE Marine [GE], Oceaneering and Griffon Hoverwork.

“The Ship-to-Shore Connector program demonstrates the Navy’s commitment to competition, while reducing acquisition and total ownership costs in the process,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said. “This is the first major naval acquisition program in more than 15 years to be designed in-house. The level of detail provided by the government design increased competition, reduced overall procurement costs and leads to smooth transition to full production.”

Deliveries are expected to begin in fiscal 2017 with initial operational capability projected for fiscal 2020, the Navy said. The Navy plans to buy up to 80 SSCs under the estimated $4 billion program.

The SSC is intended to replace the Navy and Marine Corps fleet of Land Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC) vehicles, which were built by Textron and first deployed in 1982. The LCAC fleet is currently undergoing a 10-year life extension.

The Navy said the SSCs are designed to for a 30-year service life capable of carrying a 74-ton payload and can travel at speeds of more than 35 knots. The craft are used to carry out amphibious assault and landing missions, as well as deploy for humanitarian efforts.

Textron said its team brings more than 55 years of experience with air cushion vehicles. It said most of production will be at its Marine & Land Systems’ shipyard in in New Orleans.

“Our team was formed from the very beginning to deliver to the U.S. Navy the lowest risk SSC–a highly capable, high performing vessel delivered within budget, at weight and on schedule, and maintained for its entire service life,” Textron President and CEO Fred Strader said. “Our experienced team is eager to get to work building air cushion vehicles once again in our shipyard and supporting the U.S. Navy in every way we can.”