Watercraft Materiel Master Plan




Chapter Six


6-1. OBJECTIVE. The Army watercraft modernization program charts the course for the continuous modernization of the fleet through the year 2012. It addresses the need to manage the watercraft fleet economically while retaining the necessary wartime capability. The fleet size and capability outlined in this plan cannot be achieved by simple divestiture of excess watercraft. Existing craft must be maintained or modernized, old craft must be divested, and procurement of new craft programmed to ensure that the required watercraft capability is available. This chapter identifies modernization requirements for Army watercraft under the following programs:

A On-Condition Cyclic Maintenance (OCCM). A maintenance program that ensures mission readiness of the fleet.

B. Materiel Change (MC). A modernization program designed to correct a deficiency that affects mission capability.

C. Extended Service Program (ESP). A modernization program performed to upgrade system capabilities to allow the craft to continue to perform the required mission. ESPs are applied when a vessel’s life expectancy has reached 60 percent of its economic useful life.

D Research & Development (R&D). R&D evaluates emerging concepts and technologies that can be applied through MC, ESP, or new procurements to enhance ship-to-shore cargo delivery operations.

E. Procurement. New systems are procured only after other methods of meeting a material deficiency have been deemed unacceptable to meet the identified deficiency.

6-2. OVERALL STRATEGY. The watercraft modernization strategy imposes fiscal constraints and applies management tradeoffs between new procurement, materiel changes, extended service programs, and divestiture to achieve a balanced fleet capable of supporting the ASMP. The modernization strategy maximizes the nondevelopmental item (NDI) approach. NDI allows the Army to leverage commercial industry developments to keep its watercraft fleet modernized at a lower cost than conducting research and development efforts. Inherent in the NDI concept is the recognition that the Army will accept the commercial vessel industry’s proven "state-of-the-art" technology, with the exception of the military-unique requirements that exist.

6-3. CONCEPT. Modernization is necessary when a mission requirement exists that cannot be met with current equipment; when current assets require an upgrade to reduce operation and support costs, or to meet new or changed federal, DoD, Department of Transportation (U.S. Coast Guard), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or international regulations. The combat developer, as the user representative, identifies a materiel deficiency to the materiel developer (MD). The MD then develops a program to resolve the deficiency in the most cost-effective and efficient manner. All the elements of cost, schedule, and performance are considered in determining the type of program, i.e. modification of existing equipment (MC/ESP), procurement of an NDI, or development and procurement of new equipment (R&D with follow-on procurement) that will be pursued. One of the most important functions of the AWMAG is to energize this process so funding can be programmed for modernization of the watercraft fleet.


A. Combat Developer. The Director of Combat Developments for Transportation, U.S. Army CASCOM, in coordination with the 7th Transportation Group and the Army Reserve is the combat developer for Army watercraft. Together they address deficiencies and corrective actions, document operational requirements, and support funding requirements for Army watercraft modernization initiatives. CASCOM, as the combat developer for Army watercraft, represents the user community and prioritizes the modernization projects that are executed by the materiel developer.

B. Materiel Developer. U.S. Army Aviation and Troop Command (ATCOM), Transportation Systems Management Office (TSMO) is the materiel developer for Army Watercraft. TSMO, as the Materiel Developer, is responsible for executing the Army watercraft modernization program, based on the direction provided by CASCOM.

C. AWMAG Input. The AWMAG reviews the modernization plan on a continuing basis to address priorities, funding shortfalls, and future requirements to ensure that appropriate actions are being taken to maintain a fully mission-capable watercraft fleet.

6-5. FLEET STATUS. In 1993, the Army watercraft inventory totaled 508 vessels, lighters, and floating craft. By the year 2012, this plan will significantly reduce this inventory to 183 vessels. However, to attain the fleet required to support the Army of the 21st century, new craft must be procured to replace uneconomical craft that do not meet the identified requirements. Although to a great extent these systems are unique in the missions they perform, few can be considered state-of-the-art, high-technology marine platforms. Some newer systems, such as the LSV, LCU-2000, new 128’ tugs, and MCSs will have more than 10 years of economic useful life remaining after 1996. Other craft such as the LCU-1600, LCM-8, and LARC-LX are an average of 40 years old, and require continuous evaluation and a significant investment to ensure that they maintain mission-capable status. The current fleet management strategy embraces a combination of maintaining existing craft through the OCCM program; ESP and MC programs to correct supportability/operational problems, ESP programs, research and development, and replacement of existing craft through new procurement of like items with greater capability. Divestiture of old high-cost craft is also a part of the management strategy to ensure minimal Army maintenance money is not spent on craft that will exit the system.


A. On Condition Cyclic Maintenance (OCCM) is the first line of defense in maintaining a ready and able fleet while protecting our equipment. One of the unique aspects of Army watercraft is the requirement to perform regular cyclic maintenance. OCCM is required at three-year intervals for powered vessels and four-year intervals for nonpowered vessels. During OCCM, a vessel is dry docked and major depot-level repair, maintenance, and inspection work is performed. OCCM has a major impact on the mission readiness posture of watercraft equipment, since each vessel is committed to approximately 90 days of OCCM every three years. A load line certificate for the vessel is issued after systems are brought up to standards and the vessel is verified as seaworthy.

B. OCCM Process:

1) The MD ship surveyors inspect each vessel to determine if the work is necessary. The MD technical staff then reviews the proposed work and schedules with the user. The user develops a priority list of the work to be done on the vessels. When scheduling conflicts arise, DA DCSOPS provides a resolution.

2) Ship surveyor prepares statement of work (SOW).

3) A contract is awarded to a commercial shipyard based on the SOW.

4) Ship surveyor coordinates schedule with using unit. Vessel is delivered to the shipyard.

5) Ship surveyor and representative from unit monitor work performed.

6) Vessel is inspected after completion of work and returned to the unit.

C. OCCM program schedule and costs. Table 6-1 outlines the OCCM program funding requirements for the Army Force XXI watercraft fleet (183 craft). Divesture of old craft and procurement of new craft have been considered in the development of the funding requirements.


Table 6-1. OCCM Program Funding Requirements (FY97 – FY12)

6-7. MATERIEL CHANGE/EXTENDED SERVICE PROGRAMS. An MC is the first approach considered when a user identified deficiency exists that affects mission capability. An ESP is considered when a vessel has reached 60 percent of its economic useful life. The major difference between MC and ESP is that an MC improves performance or corrects a deficiency, and an ESP extends useful life. The difference is academic since both are executed in the same manner. A detailed analysis will be conducted by the Materiel Developer to determine what systems are affected and the cost of a MC/ESP vs. new procurement vs. status quo. A special in-process review (IPR) is held to review alternatives and reach formal decisions on program direction.

A. MC programs are designed to accomplish one or more of the following:

1) Correct operational and/or safety deficiencies — Quality Deficiency Reports (QDRs) and Equipment Improvement Reports (EIRs) are submitted by the user to identify problems that affect operation, safety, readiness, and/or mission capability. The MC program is the process used by the materiel developer to correct these deficiencies.

2) Improve supportability — Readiness levels can drop due to nonavailability and/or obsolescence of parts. An MC program identifies replacement parts and applies them to the fleet. Maintaining configuration control ensures that watercraft can be supported when deployed.

3) Comply with federal/international regulations — Regulatory guidance is provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Global Marine Distress Safety System (GMDSS), Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), International Maritime Organization (IMO), executive orders, and other federal and international agencies. The U.S. Army must comply with any regulatory requirements. Failure to comply with regulatory requirements limits training and operational areas, and in extreme cases, access to some facilities and locations can be denied for failure to comply with regulations.

B. An ESP is considered when a given vessel reaches 60 percent of its life expectancy, as stated in Technical Bulletin (TB) 43-0002-26. A service-life extension is required when major components of a marine system are determined to be no longer supportable. ESPs typically affect power train, power generation systems, marine sanitation devices, and crew accommodations. The ESP process is driven by availability and supportability of systems in the wholesale and/or retail community. This program replaces obsolete and unserviceable components to extend the life of the vessel and provide mission-capable and supportable systems. The program is not intended to upgrade, enhance, or change the original operational capability of the vessel involved. During the ESP process, a determination will be made, as to the length of life extension. Normal length of this extension is 12 years, per the TB cited above.

C. MC/ESP Process. End users, the combat developer, and the materiel developer are involved throughout the MC and ESP process.

1) The materiel developer conducts an analysis of the vessel class being considered for MC or ESP as a result of a QDR/EIR, a drop in readiness rates, or the vessel has reached 60 percent of its life expectancy.

2) The materiel developer, combat developer, and end users review alternatives and associated costs. The combat developer then provides direction based on input from the end users and the materiel developer.

3) Then, the materiel developer produces a prototype for test and evaluation.

4) The combat developer reviews the test and evaluation and provides direction on vessel modification, based on current and future mission requirements.

Note: All activities to this point are OMA funded; this is significant in that OMA funds have historically been difficult to obtain for watercraft programs. Current OMA funding is not adequate to execute all of the required OCCM and MC programs.

5) Modification of the fleet begins following final guidance from the combat developer.

D. MC/ESP Priorities. Table 6-2 identifies priorities established by the AWMAG steering committee and reflect requirements based on Army watercraft employment goals. They are listed from most critical to least critical.

Table 6-2. MC and ESP Priorities




















LT 100


LT 100


LT 128’


CEN Suites



LCM-8 Mod 1



LCM-8, Mod 2



LT 128


Note: Regulatory and safety requirements must be met before a vessel can sail.

E. MC/ESP Funding.

1) OMA funds are used for engineering to identify corrective action, design the new system, fabricate, test and evaluate the prototype, and prepare Modification Work Orders (MWOs) to include the Technical Drawing Package (TDP) and installation instructions for application of the MC/ESP.

2) OPA funds are used for application, however, the POM/EPP OPA funding lines are different. ESP programs are identified as a separate line. MC programs are identified as "Mods in Service — Hardware" and Mods in Service — Application." These two lines, while not vessel specific, typically include MC programs for several vessel classes.

3) Table 6-3 (p. 6-7) reflects both MC and ESP program funding requirements. Estimated requirements are presented for both engineering efforts (OMA) and application costs (OPA). It is important to point out that OPA programs cannot be executed without OMA funds to do the engineering effort required for the MC/ESP process.



Table 6-3. MC and ESP Program Funding Requirements

6-8. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM. The Army watercraft research and development program investigates and evaluates emerging concepts and technologies to enhance ship-to-shore cargo delivery operations. This effort seeks potential solutions to enhance rapid cargo delivery under adverse weather and sea state conditions. As part of any solution, we seek to further reduce the time, capital investment, and personnel needed to deliver combat and support forces ashore in a good port, secondary port, or no port (bare beach) LOTS environment.

A. Funding Types. The maturity of a technology or program determines the type of R&D funding required for execution. DoD 5000 requires specific approval before a project can move from one phase to the next. A list of the R&D categories are provided below with a short explanation of the activities and output of each phase:

1) Exploratory Development (6.2) — Researches solutions to broadly defined problems such as improved hull forms and sea state 3 (SS3) operations. Product is usually technical demonstration of a developmental system. Information gathered in this phase is used in preparing the mission needs statement (MNS) for the next phase of development. (The management decision paper [MDEP] for Army watercraft 6.2 funding is RJL4/633001 Logistics Advanced Technology)

2) Advanced Development (6.3) — Includes a concept design of potential materiel solutions that may resolve a specific materiel deficiency. Approved MNS is required.

Product is a preliminary system design that is used in preparing the Operational Requirements Document (ORD) for the next phase of development. (The MDEP category for Army watercraft 6.3 funding is TRJL4/643804/D526, Logistics and Engineering equipment advanced development.)

3) Engineering Development (6.4) — Includes full scale development of prototype systems for test and evaluation. An approved ORD is required. The product is prototype hardware, test and evaluation data, and TDP for use in a procurement contract. (The MDEP category for Army watercraft 6.4 funding is RJL4/654804/D461, Logistics and Engineering equipment engineering development.)

4) Management and Support (6.5) — Funding is used to perform market investigations and satisfy test requirements for NDI. Product is purchase description (PD) and solicitation package for NDI procurement, plus all precontract award requirements. (The MDEP for watercraft funding is for RJL4/665801/D125/DE65 NDI.)

B. Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore Joint Integrated Process Team (JIPT). A JIPT has been formed to enhance and streamline the coordination between Services and within the JLOTS community, concerning research, development, and acquisition of LOTS/JLOTS interoperable systems. The JIPT is sponsored by the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations and the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. The JIPT is examining the entire JLOTS process in an attempt to identify technologies and systems that will improve safety, increase productivity, and reduce operational bottlenecks. The investigation will include funding requirements for the development of the most promising technologies. Army watercraft personnel are involved at all levels of the JIPT to ensure that Army requirements and priorities are considered during the decision process. Specific high-priority operational areas and sample materiel solutions being considered by the JIPT are listed in Table 6-4. The top R&D priority of the JIPT and the Army is the development of a causeway system capable of operation in sea states through three. The estimated R&D funding required by the Army to support the activities of the JIPT and other Army specific R&D projects is shown in Table 6-5 (p. 6-9).


Table 6-4. Potential SS3 Operation/Mitigation Research Programs

Operational area

Sample materiel solutions

Ship to Shore Operations in SS3

- Joint Modular Lighter System

Cargo Movement

- Automatic Cargo Transfer System
- Tagline Technology
- Container Handling in heavy Weather

Sea State Mitigation

- Rapidly Emplaced Breakwater (RIB)


- Improved Mooring Systems
- Improved Fendering Systems

Ramp Lighter Interface

- Ramp/Platform Followers
- RRDF Interface

Command and Control

- Simulators
- Site-selection Systems
- Communications/Tracking Systems

Table 6-5. Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E)

C. Support for NDI Procurements. Management and support (6.5) funding for NDI procurements of new craft or rebuys of existing craft is required for the preparation of the procurement package and source selection activities. Programs requiring 6.5 funding include the LSV, LCU-2000, and causeway systems. Receipt of 6.5 funding a minimum of two years prior to the procurement of an NDI system is critical to the timely accomplishment of the program. Without this funding, the materiel developer cannot prepare the purchase description or other contract documentation required before award of a production contract. Table 6-5 outlines management support program requirements (6.5 funding) for ongoing and future programs.

D. Categories of ship-to-shore operations. R&D funding is critical to solving the age old problem of landing the combat force ashore in all types of conditions including adverse weather and sea state conditions. The process of moving combat equipment from strategic sealift ships to the shore involves many functions, different types of hardware, and is affected by many variables. The following paragraphs provide a discussion of the various stages of the operation and some of the probable conditions that may be encountered. The ability to perform these operations will guide the Army’s R&D efforts in the future.

1) Overcoming SS3 Limitations — Stable ship-to-shore delivery platforms and strategic sealift shipboard cargo handling gear are needed that can operate without degradation in SS3. Systems to reduce the affects of SS3 conditions and enable an operation to continue are also considered. SS3 conditions are defined as moderate seas with large wavelets 3.5 to 5 feet, breaking crests, and winds of 7-15 knots. SS3 LOTS capability has become a key CINC requirement that appears in several CINC IPLs and the DPG. Related issues have been addressed by both the Joint Warfighting Capabilities Assessment (JWCA) and Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC). Current hardware is limited to operation in SS2 or less.

2) Ship-to-Shore Delivery Platform — Across the beach cargo delivery platforms should be capable of operating up to 10 miles offshore, through the surf zone, and not more than 5 miles inland across tidal marshes to firm ground that can accommodate mode transfer operations. Platforms must further have the capability of operating pier side in a fixed port without degrading carrying capacity, maneuverability, or throughput requirements. Ship-to-shore delivery platforms must also be capable of rapid disassembly and recovery or displacement to a safe haven when conditions exceed SS4. Sea state 4 conditions are defined as rough seas with moderate waves of 6 to 7.5 feet, many white caps (breaking crests) with some spray, and winds of 14 – 27 knots.

3) Combat Power Ashore — Strategic sealift cargo handling systems and ship-to-shore delivery platforms must have the capacity and capability of placing ashore the equivalent of a Army heavy brigade, its forward support battalion, and basic load of all classes of supply in 24 hours at a modern fully functioning RO/RO berth with container cranes. Similarly, these systems must be capable of in-stream discharge of the same force loaded aboard a large, medium-speed RO/RO in not more than 6 days through a full or partially fixed port or over a bare beach.

4) Preparation for Cargo Discharge Operations — Ship cargo handling gear, to include interior and exterior ramps and on board cranes, and ship-to-shore delivery platforms must be made fully operational by the normal operating crew within 6 hours of arrival in the objective area, in either daylight or darkness, and at SS3.

5) Deployability Ship-to-shore delivery platforms must be capable of being stored aboard a prepositioned ship and/or deployed by sea or air to arrive in the objective area prior to the arrival of the first ship carrying the combat force. The means by which the

ship-to-shore delivery platform is placed in the objective area should not require the acquisition of either air or sealift uniquely designed for that single mission.

6) Maintainability — All maintenance support required for the delivery platforms, to include shops and repair parts, must be designed to fit within the Army standard 20-foot ISO container. All echelons of repair, short of depot or dry-docking, must be performed on-site in the objective area. Maintenance cycle requirements for the delivery platforms and support equipment should not be more frequent than 30 months when equipment is prepositioned afloat.

7) Force Structure and Sustainment — Ship-to-shore delivery platforms and shipboard cargo handling gear cannot require additions to the current terminal service or watercraft force structure. Systems must demonstrate improvements in unit productivity that will increase capability while simultaneously reducing the unresourced force structure requirement. Similarly, there must be no increase in the support structure necessary for sustaining these systems.

8) Standardization and Interoperability — Ship-to-shore delivery platforms must be compatible with strategic sealift systems and provide an integrated systems capability throughout the mix of lighterage in the inventory. Platforms must perform equally effectively whether employed by the Navy in support of the Maritime Prepositioned Fleet (MPF), Army watercraft prepositioned afloat or forward stationed, or jointly in a JLOTS operation.

9) Survivability — In conformance with Army regulations and policies all vessels are built in compliance with the CFR and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) standards to ensure safety, reliability, and habitability. Exceptions will only be made by the materiel and combat developers after an in-depth evaluation to determine military essentially of such exceptions. This will be put in writing as a specification of what alternative application is acceptable. All materiel changes will conform to the CFR and ABS. Jurisdictional control by the U.S. Coast Guard and the ABS would hamper effective U.S. Army control of operations, therefore, the MD will be responsible for executing a program to ensure vessels are maintained to class and compliance.

10) Command and Control (C2) — All electronic systems must be fully integrated in the logistics support to the digital battlefield and comply with the Army’s strategy for horizontal technical insertion (HTI). Additionally, Army communications, electronic, and navigation (CEN) systems must be capable of providing C2 in joint operations. This application of common technologies across multiple systems applies to lighter control, the vessel bridge, vision enhancement, the beach, and cargo systems.


A. Procurement Strategy. Procurement of new Army watercraft is considered only after other methods of meeting a materiel deficiency have been considered (such as modification of existing assets). The Army’s procurement strategy is to maximize the NDI approach. This allows the Army to leverage commercial industry developments and keep its watercraft fleet current with modern technology. Proven commercial equipment is procured using a performance-based purchase description. Since watercraft are low density, high-cost items and based on a contractor’s commercial design, a Level III, TDP suitable for remanufacture is not economically feasible to obtain. Therefore, a typical TDP for watercraft consists of "as built" drawings. These include all the data necessary for logistic support and configuration management.


"Let there be built great ships which can cast upon a beach,

in any weather, large numbers of the heaviest tanks."

Winston Churchill


B. NDI Procurement Process. Unique to Army watercraft procurement is the use of performance specifications instead of military specifications. The Navy, for example, designs vessels from the keel up, based on an extensive R&D program and model testing. Rather than telling the contractor how to build the vessel (drawings and military specifications for welding, painting, machinery, electronics, etc.), the Army relies on commercial designs and existing technology using the latest marine hardware and components. The Army tells the contractor what the vessel must be able to do (performance specification), rather than how to build it. NDI procurement puts the responsibility to meet our performance requirements on the contractor. The Army relies on established commercial marine building practices to insure proper design and quality. Army vessels are built to the following specifications:

1) American Bureau of Shipping

2) International Maritime Organization

3) U.S. Coast Guard

This approach applies to end items that are similar to vessels and systems used by the commercial industry. However, not all operations are performed by commercial users under the same conditions as the Army. Military operations must continue in environmental conditions that would require commercial operators to shutdown. Achieving operation in advanced sea states requires the Army to invest research and development funds to develop systems that will allow safe operation in a degraded environment. When pursuing a new materiel solution, the primary method is NDI, but this is not always possible.

C. Procurement Priorities. Table 6-6 identifies priorities established by the AWMAG steering committee and reflect requirements based on Army watercraft employment goals. They are listed from most critical to least critical.


Table 6-6. Procurement Priorities




Modular Causeway Systems (MCS) (See note below)


Sea State 3 Operation/Mitigation


Logistic Support Vessel (LSV)


Barge Derrick (BD) 115 Long Ton


Pusher Tug


Containerized Maintenance Facility


Port Control and Communication Center (PCCC)


Landing Craft Utility 2000


Large Tugs (LT)

Note: MCS includes RRDF, CF, and FC.

  1. Procurement Funding Required. The advantage of the NDI approach for procurement is that it allows the Army to minimize its expenditure of research, development, test and evaluation funding for watercraft programs. The Army uses these methods in lieu of complex and sometimes costly military specifications to insure that our vessels are safe and seaworthy. Table 6-7 (p. 6-13) outlines Army watercraft procurement funding requirements for major end items. Totals do not include MC/ESP funding.

Table 6-7. Army Watercraft Major End Item Procurement Requirements

E. Procurement Policy and Methods. The most recent contracts for the BD 115T crane and the pusher tug are indefinite quantity-type contracts. This creates a problem in that contractors are guaranteed only one vessel. Contractor response to the solicitation has been less than expected, and bids have been higher than estimated (component costs are higher for low quantities, and costly interruptions to the production line are possible). Multiyear-type contracts are a much more cost-efficient and effective way to procure watercraft. Major components are normally high cost with long lead times, a multiyear contract would allow economical buys in sufficient quantities to meet schedule requirements.


A. RRDF. There are currently no RRDFs in the Army inventory. This critical item is necessary to perform "in-the-stream" discharge operations of strategic sealift ships. Funding is currently programmed beginning in FY99. However, the current lack of this capability significantly affects the ability of the Army to perform LOTS operations. Funding ($20M) must be made available prior to FY99 for the procurement of the RRDF to allow Army watercraft to interface with strategic sealift ships..

B. LSV. A minimum of three additional LSVs are required to ensure adequate cargo capacity is available to perform LOTS and MSR missions. Funding is currently programmed in the POM for 2 additional LSVs, one in FY02, and one in FY03. To execute the fleet modernization outlined in this plan, the purchase of three additional LSVs is required. The conversion of the LARC-LX detachments into LSV detachments cannot be executed until the additional vessels are procured. Provide $20 million in funding to begin procurement of LSVs in FY01. In addition, provide $300,000 per year for two years beginning in FY99 of management and support funding (6.5) to prepare program and solicitation documentation.

C. LCU-2000. The age and capability of the existing LCU-1600 necessitates its replacement with the LCU-2000. The LCU-1600 has exceeded its useful life. It is not economically feasible to extend its life for another 10 – 15 years. The prepositioning strategy, which is critical to offloading the afloat heavy brigade cannot be executed until additional LCU-2000s are procured. Funding for the procurement of 13 LCU-2000s be provided beginning with 1 vessel in FY00 and 3 per year in FY01 – FY03. In addition, provide $300,000 per year for 2 years beginning in FY99 of management and support funding (6.5) to prepare program and solicitation documentation.

6-11. SUMMARY. The modernization strategy and funding levels developed in this plan reflect our minimum requirements through a prudent balance of maintenance, materiel changes, service life extensions, research and development, and procurement. These programs are closely scrutinized by the AWMAG to ensure maximum benefit in a resource constrained environment. Our modernization strategy will provide the Army with a fleet of watercraft capable of projecting and sustaining America’s forces, anywhere in the world, now and into the 21st century.