Vigor Begins Production of Army Landing Craft

Vigor Industrial has begun low rate initial production (LRIP) on the Maneuver Support Vehicle (Light) (MSV(L)) vessel at its facility in Vancouver, Wash. Photo: Vigor.

Vigor Industrial has begun initial production in Vancouver, Wash. on the Maneuver Support Vehicle (Light) vessel for the U.S. Army, the company announced June 4.

The new generation military landing craft is expected to replace the Vietnam-era Landing Craft Mechanized 8, Vigor said in its announcement.

Vigor completed and launched the prototype vessel, Elroy F. Wells, in 2022 and in June 2024 began work on the next phase of the new $1 billion job, which is expected to employ over 180 workers over the next five years.

Vigor Vice President of Fabrication Jayson Robinson said the new vessel represents a milestone for the Army, Vigor and its employees, and a credit to the work and partnership between Vigor and the Army.

The contract was originally awarded in 2017. The vessel is designed to support Army mariners and their payload in even very difficult environments due to its maneuverability and stability.

Vigor and the Army completed the handoff of the prototype vessel in February after 2023 sea trials, and started planning for production of future vessels. The next phase of fabrication is to continue for five years.

Vigor also recently completed a post-shakedown availability on the U.S. Navy vessel John Lewis at Swan Island in Oregon. Post-shakedown is an industrial activity availability following delivery and is used to correct deficiencies found during the shakedown period or to accomplish other authorized improvements to the ship.

The John Lewis was headed into active service as the namesake of the John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oilers.

The namesake of the previous generation of replenishment oilers, USNS Henry J. Kaiser, is also currently undergoing an availability at Vigor. The Swan Island shipyard where the work is being completed was one of the original Kaiser Shipyards that built Liberty ships during World War II.

By Margaret Bauman