Vigor kicks off construction of next-gen Army landing craft

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Ceremony marked beginning of a new era in shipbuilding at Vigor’s new aluminum fabrication facility

Vigor’s recently acquired state-of-the-art aluminum fabrication facility in Vancouver, Wash., was the scene of a keel laying ceremony yesterday that marked the start of construction of the U.S. Army’s next generation landing craft, the Maneuver Support Vessel (Light) or MSV(L).

The nearly billion dollar contract to build MSV(L) was awarded to Vigor in October, 2017. The new design, developed in partnership with BMT, dramatically improves on the capabilities of the current LCM-8 and provides the optimal combination of performance, operational flexibility and life-cycle cost while maintaining the reliability and versatility of the current craft.

Representatives from the U.S. Army and federal and local elected officials joined Vigor employees for yesterday’s ceremony which began with a warm welcome from Vigor CEO Frank Foti and marked the start of construction of the first vessel in the series, the SSG Elroy F. Wells.

Other speakers included Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler from Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Mayor of Vancouver, Timothy Goddette, U.S. Army Program Executive Office, Combat Support & Combat Service Support and Colonel Jered P. Helwig, U.S. Army Chief of Transportation, who also gave the dedication honoring the vessel’s namesake, SSG Elroy F.Wells,

The ceremonial welds performed by Congresswoman Beutler and Colonel Helwig marked both the start of the MSV(L) program and the beginning of a new era in shipbuilding at Vigor’s new aluminum fabrication facility, where it expects to employ up to 400 workers by 2023 building high performance military craft, workboats and aluminum fast ferries in addition to the MSV(L).

Key partners in Vigor’s MSV(L) team include BMT, Gladding-Hearn and Northrop Grumman.

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