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Posted: January 26, 2012

NASSCO lays keel on first Mobile Landing Platform

General Dynamics NASSCO in January laid the keel on the first Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) vessel at the company's shipyard in San Diego, Calif.

The MLPs, which will be manned by contract civilian merchant mariners, will serve as 'piers at sea' for the U.S. Navy's Maritime Prepositioning Force squadrons. The 765-foot long platforms will allow prepositioned ships to offload equipment and supplies at sea, which can then be carried ashore by other vessels.

"We are looking forward to the integration of these ships into our Maritime Prepositioning Force," said AMO National Vice President for Government Relations Michael Murphy. "MSC will soon publish the request for proposals to operate these vessels with contract mariners - new jobs on new ships, a winning combination."

NASSCO employed a "design-build" approach to the platforms, placing the most experienced shipbuilders on functional engineering and detail design teams. The approach makes the MLPs among the most producible designs in NASSCO's history.

"In today's challenging fiscal environment, shipbuilders must continue to provide our Navy customer with competitive pricing and fair value," said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "With the Mobile Landing Platform, NASSCO is meeting that challenge once again. The Navy and Marines will be getting a ship with significant capability at approximately one-third the cost of the Navy's original plan."

The first MLP is scheduled to be delivered in May 2013. A second MLP, and possibly a third, will be built at NASSCO.