The Navy issued a Request For Information (RFI) to conduct market research on a potential Light Amphibious Warship simulator, revealing additional information on the ship’s design.

The RFI, first published June 29, said the Navy “is seeking information on how an interested contractor could provide a simulator for the training of Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) crews to conduct beaching evolution training and crew proficiency.”

The Navy and Marine Corps are developing the LAW to support the future force and the Marine Littoral Regime. It is being designed to transport up to 75 Marines at a time up to 3,000 to 4,000 miles while holding extra cargo and fuel. The LAW is expected to be 200 to 400 feet long with speed, draft and beachability requirements. 

In January, Marine Maj. Gen. Tracy King, director of Expeditionary Warfare (OPNAV N95), said the services were hoping to begin research, development, test and evaluation in one year and buy the first LAW by late fiscal year 2022 (Defense Daily, Jan. 14).

The RFI said the LAW will be able to conduct beaching operations in various geographic locations worldwide.

“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,” the notice added.

The notice underscored the vessel is to be crewed by a threshold of up to 40 personnel and feature space, weight, power and cooling margin to allow future unmanned operability upgrades, including up to 21 additional personnel.

The RFI said the Navy is expecting the first LAW to be delivered in fiscal year 2026 “and has identified a need for a simulator to train the crews in beaching evolutions (a skill set that has not been used in the Navy on mid-size vessels since the LST’s, which ended service in the late 90’s).”

The service is specifically interested in full motion, partial motion and non-motion trainer options, capable of supporting various environmental conditions, and configurable to support various training evolutions like operating in a surf zone. The Navy wants the trainer to be capable of simulating operational speeds up to 20 knots.

“The surf zone environmental conditions, including, but not limited to, wave height, wind speed, beach coefficient of friction, beach slope, current speed, and current direction, should be able to be altered to simulate beaching the ship in different conditions. The platforms should have the ability to simulate a variety of dynamic performance characteristics of the LAW, including changing displacement and balance,” the notice added.

The LAW will be capable of operations in sea status up to and including sea state 7, and the Navy said the simulators should reflect this.

The RFI noted the latest estimate of the LAW bridge crew during Condition I equals about 10 sailors, “with potential for future growth or reduction.”

Responses are due with white papers by July 14.