The Navy has released a draft request for proposals for the future Landing Ship Medium in a Friday notice, making draft system specifications available to select vendors ahead of an official RFP, expected before the end of the calendar year.
The notice follows an August industry day during which program officials briefed contractors on the LSM’s desired requirements. The Navy plans to field a fleet of 18-35 of the vessels, formerly referred to as the Light Amphibious Warship, each carrying a crew of 70 sailors and 50 embarked Marines, to support forward operations in the Indo-Pacific and global littorals.
Little additional information is included in today’s notice, which directs eligible U.S. companies to contact Naval Sea Systems Command to receive draft detail design and construction information and other system specifications. The notice’s response date is listed as Oct. 31.
The Marine Corps views the LSM as a critical capability for future operations, supporting its Marine Littoral Regiments and other forward forces and enabling rapid movement of personnel and equipment without the use of ports or piers.
LSMs are also expected to be significantly cheaper than existing amphibious warships, with procurement costs projected to fall to about $150 million per vessel once the program is established.
The Navy’s fiscal year 2024 budget request includes $14.7 million in research and development funding for the program and indicates a contract for the first ship will be awarded in December 2024, with delivery expected in July 2028.