Light Amphibious Warship (LAW)
Medium Amphibious Ship / Stern Landing Vessel (SLV)
The Navy issued RFI N0002420SN018 on 20 February 2020 as a means of conducting market research to identify the interest and resources to support the next evolution of Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) in FY22/23. Any potential future competition for LAW is envisioned to consider adapting or altering an existing commercial ship design or build to print from a historic design.
The Navy would like Industry perspectives on potential benefits and challenges to implementing such a concept that take into account technology and manufacturing limitations. Specifically, the Navy requests white papers containing information on the company’s capabilities to build a ship with the characteristics noted below, along with any previous experiences in designing and building similar type/size ships appropriate to meet mission/concepts noted above. List any known concept designs and existing potential parent hull designs along with vessel characteristics (e.g. length, beam, width, draft, cargo arrangements, shore/pier interfaces, performance capabilities, design standard classification society, hull lines and cost information – both procurement and operation/sustainment). Provide acquisition and technical approaches and identify associated challenges. Provide approach for trading off the capabilities of built-in versus modular or flexible facilities to accomplish the above stated intended use. Other ideas or suggestions for using commonality or reconfigurable systems to reduce ship construction costs/time may be submitted.
Strategic and service level guidance is driving Naval Forces to adjust their CONOPs to meet the new challenges associated with maintaining persistent Naval forward presence to enable sea control and denial operations. The LAW is intended to provide Naval Forces the maneuver and sustainment vessels to confront the changing character of warfare. The Navy will be developing Top Level Requirements (TLRs), and ultimately a Capability Development Document (CDD), to support the LAW Program of Record (POR).
The primary functions of the LAW are force maneuver and force closure, including operating into small, undeveloped ports and beaches. Secondary functions may include force sustainment and reconnaissance. When these functions are incorporated into a single unit of action, the fleet will benefit from at sea and ashore maneuver and logistics support to contact/blunt layer forces in a contested Area of Responsibility (AOR), quick dispersion and re-aggregation of expeditionary forces, and rapid reconnaissance of Sea Line of Communications (SLOCs)/ports to determine accessibility and operational usefulness in a conflict. LAWs will endure weeks-long deployments and trans-oceanic transits. These vessels may operate within fleet groups or deploy independently.
LAWs will accelerate delivery of new capabilities to the Naval Force and reduce technical risk and cost by utilizing, and/or adapting commercial vessels/ship design, or build to print from a historic design/existing detailed designs.
The Government is receptive to alternative platforms or ships that achieve the missions stated above. The Company may propose modified characteristics. The Government may modify the characteristics if a ship concept or parent design presents significant cost/time savings, improves performance characteristics, or reduces design risk. It is desirable that data be received with unlimited rights to the Government. Nevertheless, proprietary data may be included with the information provided. All information received that includes proprietary markings will be handled in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations. Responses to this notice will not be returned to the submitter. It is intended that this feedback could be directly incorporated into the design/characteristics of the vessel and CONOPS in support of any potential future RFP release.
According to USNI News, the U.S. Marine Corps has focused on a vessel design by the Australian Sea Transport Solutions company called Stern Landing Vessel (SLV), which has direct landing capabilities similar to traditional landing vessels. But it can improve many of the inherent problems of traditional landing ships: the old LST, LSM landed at the front of the hull, and the springboard was equipped with a springboard door; due to these innate configurations, serious sacrifices in terms of speed, seaworthiness, etc .. The ship springboard door is installed first, which has a large navigation resistance, resulting not only in slow speed, but also difficulty maintaining course direction due to the influence of waves, and it is difficult to drive. Secondly, the superstructure is set at the stern (the carrier deck is in front), and the bow landing springboard will be blocked when it rises, so the sight of the bridge is poor. Third, the crew living area (attached to the superstructure) is located above the main engine compartment, and is directly exposed to noise and vibration. The quality of life of the crew is poor and it is easy to be tired. Fourth, the traditional landing ship has landed at the bow, but the propeller is at the stern. The propeller must reverse to pull the hull back when retreating from the beach. The rate is very poor, and the suction effect of the front hull needs to be overcome.
The SLV is landed at the stern, and the springboard hatch is located at the stern. The SLV adopts the slender ship type of a conventional ship. The bow is also a conventional form and has a bulbous nose, which has better airworthiness and wave resistance performance. The superstructure is located at the front of the hull, which ensures the optimization of navigation operations and also keeps the living space of personnel away from the cabin. Behind the ship superstructure to the stern is an entire flat loading deck with an area of ??600 square meters, which is large enough to accommodate 32 standard containers (64 can be installed if two layers are stacked), or for medium helicopters to take off and land. The lower layer of the hull is a straight-through loading deck (the top is shielded by the upper loading deck, rainwater and waves will not be sprayed directly), and it can carry vehicles (including the main tank). The troops and materials are similar to the traditional LST and LSM, except that they are changed in and out from the landing stern.
The SLV is approximately 70 meters long, with a draft of 1.7 meters and a speed of 16 knots when loading 300 tons of materials, and a speed of 2.05 meters and a speed of 15 knots when loading 600 tons of materials. Unlike traditional landing ships, SLV requires a number of water-injectable ballast tanks to adjust draught and attitude. Navigation control and propulsion become easier, and the available space in the ship is increased. Because the sloping slab is used to connect with the coast, when the SLV retreats, the bow advances forward and there is no suction effect.
STS can and have successfully transformed commercial designs into a flexible and full functioned naval platform, which can be integrated easily into existing naval operations. Designed to commercial or naval rules, SLV’s can be built by any ship-yard able to construct commercial vessels to Class Rule standards. It is claimed that small modifications to STS’s commercial ship designs can achieve 90% of the logistic requirements of many similar sized naval vessels at less than a quarter of the capital cost.
STS can and have successfully transformed commercial designs into a flexible and full functioned naval platform, which can be integrated easily into existing naval operations. Designed to commercial or naval rules, SLV’s can be built by any ship-yard able to construct commercial vessels to Class Rule standards. Small modifications to STS’s commercial ship designs can achieve 90% of the logistic requirements of many similar sized naval vessels at less than a quarter of the capital cost.
The are aware of the capabilities of the Army MSV NextGen. They may look similar, but the requirements are fundamentally different. The Navy needs more habitability, seakeeping and intra-theater focus for LAW.
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