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Australia seeks new landing craft

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has issued a request for tender (RFT) for Littoral Manoeuvre Vessels – Medium (LMV-M) to provide independent shore-to-shore and ship-to-shore capabilities for the country's amphibious joint force over extended ranges in restricted littoral and riverine environments.

The RFT, released on 10 December 2021, said the LMV-M fleet will be capable of carrying the joint force's current and planned armoured and protected vehicles, as a combat-laden mission system in high sea states.

Interoperability for the Australian Army-operated vessels is required with the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) two Canberra-class Landing Helicopter Dock vessels and the Landing Ship Dock HMAS Choules , the RFT said.

Henderson in Western Australia is specified as the default build location, and initial operational capability is scheduled for 2026.

Announcing Project Land 8710 Phase 1 in February 2021, then-defence minister Linda Reynolds said up to AUD800 million (USD576 million) would be invested in acquiring new Australian-built landing craft to replace the army's ageing LCM-8 fleet, along with a replacement for the army's LARC-5 (Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo, 5 tonne) amphibious vehicles.

The new RFT is restricted to the landing craft replacement, which the minister said in February would be larger, faster, and better protected than the 59-tonne LCM-8s that entered service with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in the 1970s and were substantially upgraded in the mid-1990s.

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