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U.S. Army looking for the Replacement for the Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM-8)

Discussion in 'Army & Security Forces' started by FormerDirtDart, Nov 12, 2014.

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  1. FormerDirtDart

    FormerDirtDart Member

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    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.
     
  2. FormerDirtDart

    FormerDirtDart Member

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    The Army has made their selection for the future Maneuver Support Vessel (Light)
    Vigor Press Release - Vigor wins award to build the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Support Vessel (Light), MSV(L), a new generation of landing craft for U.S. Army.
    Defense News - Army awards billion-dollar contract for 100-foot landing ships
    Base on released art work, and Vigor's press release stating they developed the vessel with BMT it is a modification of BMT's CAIMEN-90 Fast
    I believe this will the first actual operational development of BMT's "tri-bow monohull" form.
    View attachment 6901

    The Army's media release provides some answers on further development and production
    Army maneuvers new watercraft program to award