The US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has issued a request for information for the potential acquisition of up to 30 new-design “light amphibious warships” (LAW).
According to the RFI, posted on the beta.sam website, the LAW is intended to provide naval forces “the maneuver and sustainment vessels to confront the changing character of warfare.”
The primary functions of the LAW will be force maneuver and force closure, including operating into small, undeveloped ports and beaches. Secondary functions may include force sustainment and reconnaissance.
These vessels will endure weeks-long deployments and trans-oceanic transits, operating within fleet groups or deploy independently. They will also have to operate at 14 knots for a minimum of 3,500 nautical miles, transiting open ocean up to Sea State 5 while fully loaded.
NAVSEA further said the LAW would be able to beach on sand, gravel, shale, small stone, and man-made marine ramps. They will support on/offload of all existing USMC vehicles to beach areas with gradients of 1:40 or steeper, and fording depths of 42” or less.
It was also noted that using or adapting commercial ship designs, or build to print from a historic design/existing detailed designs will also be allowed to reduce technical risk and cost.
The slide below, taken from a NAVSEA Industry Day event, provides more details about the desired capabilities.