- The MSV(L) will replace Vietnam-era LCM-8 landing craft
- The US Army plans to buy a class of 36 MSV(L) watercraft
The US Army has selected Oregon-based Vigor Works to build a new fleet of watercraft to replace its outdated Vietnam-era Landing Craft Mechanized 8 (LCM-8) Mod I and Mod II ‘Mike Boats’.
Awarded on 28 September by the US Army Contracting Command, the USD979.8 million 10-year, firm-fixed price, Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity contract covers the Maneuver Support Vessel (Light) (MSV[L]) engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase and subsequent production and deployment phase. Vigor was selected ahead of four rival bidders.
The award comes concurrent with a Milestone B acquisition approval that transitions the programme into its EMD phase. In the next four years, the army will work with Vigor Works as it produces a full-scale prototype for additional evaluation, and to inform the programme's final requirements.
The first new army watercraft in decades, the MSV(L) will support the Joint Combined Arms Maneuver and the Army Operating Concept by providing intra-theatre transportation of personnel and materiel, delivering cargo from advanced bases and deep-draft strategic sealift ships to harbours, inland waterways, remote and unimproved beaches and coastlines, and denied or degraded ports.
In particular, the MSV(L) programme will restore the US Army's ability to carry the weight of modern combat platforms, being designed to carry a combat-configured main battle tank, two Strykers, or four Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.
The Vigor MSV(L) design, which adopts a tribow monohull hullform, has been developed in partnership with BMT following a detailed study of the army’s requirements, and an analysis of the various available design options to fulfill those needs. Other industry partners include Gladding-Hearn and Northrop Grumman.
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