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Maneuver Support Vessel, Medium (MSV-M)

The Maneuver Support Vessel (Medium) (MSV(M)) is to be an expeditionary, intra-theater, medium transport to replaces Landig Craft Utility (LCU) in the post FY30 timeframe.

Landing Craft consists of the Logistics Support Vessel (LSV), Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 2000, and Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) 8 MOD I and MOD II. Key JLOTS, littoral supply route and sea-basing enablers, these multi-mission mobility platforms provide inter/intra-theater lift of personnel and material in support of Joint and Army ground forces, delivering cargo from advanced bases and deep draft strategic sealift ships to harbors, inland waterways, remote underdeveloped coastlines and unimproved beaches and degraded/denied ports. The Army is about to begin a major Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) which would add ten years of useful life to the aging platform. The SLEP process would enable the users to complete their operational mission requirements while the Maneuver Support Vessel (Medium) was being developed as the LCU replacement.

Landing Craft Utility (LCU) - LCU-X / LCU (R)

Funding for the development of a follow-on LCU was secured in 1999. The new-development LCU was slated to arrive in the fleet in FY 2006. The LCU (R) would replace the LCU 1600 Class Utility Craft. It would provide a technologically advanced, heavy lift, utility landing craft to complement the high speed, OTH ship-to-objective amphibious lift of the Mobility Triad required to support OMFTS. It was entering the Technology Development Phase with a desired Initial Operational Capability of FY06.

LCU (R) would contribute to future amphibious and MPF operations and would be able to operate from the well deck of any given amphibious ship including LHA, LPD, LSD-41, and the LPD-17. The craft would have higher operational speeds (current LCU 8kts, max 11), improved OTH lift (225 Short Tons) for assault personnel and a number of M1A1 tanks from amphibious ships to an unimproved beach. It would have Amphibious Task Force, Maritime Propositioned Forces (MPF), and Strategic Sealift compatibility. LCU (R) would have the capability to conduct sustained, independent operations for up to 10 days with an operational range of 1000 nautical miles.

Automation and simplicity of design features would reduce LCU (R) manning requirements and minimize TOC. The craft would be simple, rugged, and reliable and designed with low maintenance features to reduce the craft's operational costs. The LCU (R) enhanced characteristics (yet to be defined) would greatly reduce ship-to-beach cyclic time, and would include a drive through design with forward and aft ramps to improve vehicle and cargo loadout and discharge time when offloading amphibious and MPF shipping. The craft would have a secondary mission to serve as an alternative launch, recovery, and salvage platform for the Marine Corps new Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV).

The LCU(R) would provide a technologically advanced, heavy lift, utility landing craft to complement the high speed, over-the-horizon, ship-to-objective amphibious lift required by Operational Maneuver - From the Sea (OMFTS) and Seabased Logistics. Primary and Secondary missions, Required Operational Capabilities, Threat and Threat Environment, Constraints, and Operational Environment for the LCU(R) are depicted in the LCU(R) Mission Need Statement (MNS).

The craft would be built to ABS and commercial standards, specifications and practices. The production contract would specify the preliminary delivery of two (2) Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) craft in FY06 for operational testing and evaluation. Upon completion of the testing period, estimated at twelve(12) months or less, the government would authorize Full Scale Production (FSP) of the remaining craft (presently set at 14 to 22 craft). As of 2002 the SCN budget was about $60M/yr and was based on the replacement of five (5) LCU per year for a duration of seven (7) years starting with a "Best Value" contract award in FY05.

As of 2002 the LCU(R) Program was in the Concept and Technology Development Phase. The objective of this phase was to obtain Concept and Feasibility Design Studies from Industry for the purpose of developing a Performance Specification (PS) that would respond to the LCU(R) Mission Need Statement (MNS) and Operational Requirements Document (ORD). The Performance Specification would be the Technical Data Package used to award a multi-craft procurement contract starting in FY05. It was planned that any procurement for the production of the LCU(R) would be on a competitive basis, regardless of whether the offerors participated in any of the LCU(R) design phases.

As part of the Concept and Technology Development Phase, a BAA (PSA 2754) was issued 26 December 2000 for concept papers that would lead to the awards of contracts for Feasibility Design Studies. The December 2000 BAA anticipated an LCU(R) design with a maximum 30-ft beam. Upon review of the white papers submitted in response to BAA (PSA 2754), contracts were awarded to ten (10) of the participants to condu ct Feasibility Design Studies (FDS). As of 2002 no contract awards for the development of a Performance Specification had been made as a result of the 30-ft. beam Feasibility Design Studies.

The Naval Sea Systems Command and the Program Executive Officer, Expeditionary Warfare (PEO EXW) issued Presolicitation Notice Number N00024-02-R-2222 on 23 January 2002 seeking information from interested sources toward a potential future replacement of the LCU 1600 Class Utility Craft. This BAA was for Feasibility Design Studies for an LCU(R) with a maximum 45-ft beam. An Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) was being developed by the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) to evaluate the operational effectiveness and estimated cost of alternative systems. The studies resulting from this BAA were, in part to support the AoA in determining number and size of craft necessary to meet LCU(R) mission needs and required operational capabilities.

Final AoA report was due late May 2002, upon which the Navy was to decide an alternative to pursue in order to best meet its overall amphibious lift requirements. This decision was not expected to take place until June/July 2002 time frame.

Contract awards for the development of a (Commercial Design Performance Specification (Phase III of the LCU(R) design program) was predicated upon the Government's decision as to an alternative to pursue in meeting its amphibious lift requirements.

LCU(R) DESIRED ENHANCED PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS & OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES:

(As compared to the existing LCU 1600 series)

a. Maximum allowable beam -- 45 feet.

b. Maximum allowable length -- 130 feet.

c. Maximum allowable draft shall not exceed the water depth limitations of the LHD's well deck (i.e., four ft of water in the forward portion of the well and increasing to ten feet at the sill) d. Air draft shall not exceed the air draft of the existing LCU 1600.

e. Craft should be capable of carrying three (3) M1A1 tanks from the well deck to the beach. f. Reduced mission cycle time, including vehicle and cargo load-out and discharge time. This was affected by: (i) Full and no cargo load craft speed, (ii) Reduced cargo load-out and discharge time. The craft should be capable of backing into the well for over-the-stern loading. Craft should have drive-through capability within the well. LCU(R)s located aft in the well should be loaded by driving vehicles and cargo through LCU(R) located forward. (iii) Propulsor and control systems designed to enhance the ability to back the craft into the amphibious well deck to facilitate drive-through loading of vehicles. Propulsion, anchoring or other systems facilitate rapid extraction from the beach.

g. Reduced draft or other design features to improve beaching and provide maximum utility in littoral regions

h. Automated systems and low maintenance design features to reduce workload and manpower requirements i. Control and navigation systems that maximize precision navigation and positioning capabilities (e.g. AN/KSQ-1) for improved beaching evolutions and interfacing with ATF and MPF operations. The C4I suite would be GFE.

j. Configuration and features that allow the craft to serve as an alternative launch, recovery, and salvage platform for the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV)

k. Crew accommodations, habitability, and provisions would be required for independent missions up to 10 days with an operational range of at least 1000NM.

l. The craft should be fully supportable within the current Naval Amphibious Base infrastructure.

m. The craft should be simple, rugged, and reliable.

Feasibility studies were conducted to determine the best design to meet Navy requirements for heavy lift utility landing craft and to support a performance specification.



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