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NAVSEA awards industry studies for Next Generation Logistics Ship

Three US shipyards have been selected to undertake concept studies to inform the US Navy's (USN's) projected Next Generation Logistics Ship (NGLS) programme.

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded contracts to Austal USA, Bollinger Shipyards Lockport, and TAI Engineers on 17 December. Each has received a USD2 million base contract to carry out new construction design studies. Options in each award also provide for an existing vessel modification study and the delivery of additional special studies and documentation.

Envisaged to be smaller than existing ships in the USN's Combat Logistics Force, the NGLS is intended to rearm, refuel, and resupply small surface combatants such as Littoral Combat Ships and the planned Light Amphibious Warship (LAW), plus shore units. Specifically, it will conduct logistics missions in support of Distributed Maritime Operations, Littoral Operations Contested Environment, and Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations.

NGLS as currently conceived will be either a single ship to perform the desired missions or a combination of ship types that would perform those operations across multiple platforms. The navy's preference is for a vessel leveraging an existing mature ship design modified to meet NGLS mission requirements, although the service has not excluded purpose-built ‘clean-sheet' concepts.

To be operated by the Military Sealift Command and crewed by civilian mariners, the NGLS will be classed to ABS Marine Vessel Rules and outfitted with crane(s), underway replenishment equipment, astern refuelling equipment, and stowage and staging areas for cargo and ordnance. Although no size limit has been specified, the navy has indicated that it is seeking to study concepts for NGLS ships in sizes ranging from commercial platform supply vessels to larger coastal tankers.

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