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US Navy wants six Medium Landing Ships LSM for amphibious operations.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the US DoD on January 5, 2024, the US Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has announed a major initiative for the design and construction of a new class of Medium Landing Ships (LSM).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of a future Medium Landing Ship. (Picture source: US Marine)

This project, overseen by the Amphibious, Assault, and Connectors Program Office (PMS 317), aims to enhance the Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities. Under this new solicitation, the Navy plans to build up to six LSM vessels, complete with a comprehensive Technical Data Package (TDP), and provisions for Life Cycle Engineering & Support (LCES).

The project also includes an array of Special Studies and Post Delivery Support, along with Provisioned Items and Lead Yard Support efforts, ensuring a robust support framework for these new ships.

The primary mission of the LSM class is to enable the secure and efficient transport of platoon-sized units directly from one shore to another in contested environments. These ships will be equipped to beach and disembark various elements of expeditionary forces—including personnel, mission-critical equipment, vehicles, and supplies—without the need for smaller boats or lighters. A key feature of the LSM is its bow and/or stern ramp system, which facilitates the rapid deployment of forces and equipment, crucial in operational scenarios.

Amphibious warfare

In 2024, amphibious warfare is directly influenced by specific geopolitical tensions in key regions around the world. Taiwan's strategic position and the escalating tensions between Taiwan and China have heightened the focus on amphibious capabilities.

Taiwan, facing the threat of potential Chinese aggression, has prioritized the strengthening of its own amphibious defenses. This includes enhancing its naval and ground forces' ability to repel a possible amphibious assault by China.

Meanwhile, China's People's Liberation Army is continually upgrading its own amphibious assault capabilities, reflecting its focus on the potential for a future conflict involving Taiwan.

The U.S. has thus been involved in providing military support to Taiwan, including sales of advanced weapons systems and joint training exercises, to enhance its amphibious defense capabilities.

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