It’s been several months since the US Army issued an RFI to identify a replacement for their aging LCM-8s. A little background: The Army’s LCM-8s serve essentially as cargo lighters. Supporting harbor/port operations. Most vessels are long past their anticipated service life. The existing fleet basic characteristics: Length: 74 feet Beam: 21 feet Displacement: 58 LTONs (unladen); 111 LTONs (laden) Deck area: 620 square feet Range: 332 NM at 11 knots (unladen) one-way; 271 NM at 9 knots (laden) one-way IMO the RFI for what they are calling the ‘Maneuver Support Vessel (Light) (MSV(L)’ identifies a significant capability upgrade. This follows what can only be considered a downgrade that the US Navy undertook when the replaced their LCM-8s on prepositioned ships with the Maritime Pre-positioning Force Utility Boat (MPFUB) Links to the MSV(L) RFI specifications document can be found here: https://contracting.tacom.army.mil/majorsys/replcm8/replcm8.htm (must download doc to view) or a readable document on Scribd. here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244163691/RFI-Manuver-Support-Vessel-MSV-Light-Revision-02-15-Apr-14 Basic Threshold Requirements: Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station II (CROWS II) Survivable in SS7. ( “survivable” means that crew, cargo and passengers are unharmed, the vessel maintains sea keeping integrity, and it remains fully capable of resuming full operations when conditions permit) Fore and Aft ramps to allow drive-through operations, and one ramp configurable for small boat launch & recovery Payload capabilities: Four Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) w/trailer, crew and all personnel equipment Two Strykers (any variant) with SLAT armor, crew and all personnel equipment Two Bradleys (M2A2/M3A2) with crew and all personnel equipment (must be enough deck space to lower the vehicle’s rear ramp) One M1A2 Abrams tank with crew and all personnel equipment One Rifle Platoon of the Infantry IBCT with crew and all personnel equipment (This seems like a low number, as a vessel capable of carrying the other equipment noted would likely be able to carry an Infantry IBCT Company) Capable of safely transporting one fully-loaded at maximum weight 40-foot or two fully-loaded at maximum weight 20-foot ISO containers MSV(L) shall be capable of safely transporting material and personnel in SS3 (Objective requirement for SS increases to SS5) Maneuver and conduct all operations in a minimum of four feet of water, allow the bow ramp to be deployed in a minimum of two feet of water (Objective requirement able to maneuver and conduct all operations in a minimum of two feet of water) Speed: capability to move at a sustained speed of 18 knots laden in SS3; 24 knots unladen in SS3 (Objective requirement capability to move at a sustained speed of 22 knots laden in SS3; 30 knots unladen in SS3) Range: Conduct operations in SS3 as follows: 400 Nautical Miles (NM) at sustained speed of 24 knots when unladen round trip; and 360 NM at sustained speed of 18 knots laden round trip Continuous operations, for a period of 24 hours without refueling or re-provisioning (Objective performance: round trip operations @SS4, 500 NM @ sustained 30 knots unladen, 400 NM @ sustained 20 knots laden) Transportability: capable of being loaded and moved on Heavy Lift Ship (HLS) or semi-submersible vessel (Objective: capable of being loaded via lift on/lift off and moved on Large, Medium-Speed RO/RO vessel) Anticipated production quantity is 36 As I stated, the MSV(L) threshold requirements (let alone the objective ones) would be a significant upgrade over the LCM-8s in service. While I’m no subject matter expert in amphibious landing systems, the conceptual or operational craft that immediately came to my mind as possibly meeting these requirements were the: ST Marine Brave 75t; BMT Caimen 90 Fast; QinetiQ PACSCAT; Socarenam L-CAT/EDA-R. Also, I was reminded of an old Textron concept, which would need to be scaled down significantly, the Textron High Speed Landing Craft Utility (HSLCU). (old patent document: Patent US6792886 - Planing landing craft - Google Patents ). Also, from the MSV-L Questions & Answers link on the TACOM page, there seems to be some interest from a Turkish entity.