Navy takes delivery of MLP 1

MLP 1MAY 16, 2013 — The Navy accepted delivery of the first Mobile Landing Platform, USNS Montford Point (MLP 1), from shipbuilder General Dynamics-NASSCO, May 14, in San Diego, Calif.

The Navy says the Mobile Landing Platform is a "new class of ship and highly flexible platform" that will provide capability for large-scale logistics movements such as the transfer of light and heavy vehicles and equipment from sea to shore. Be that as it may, the basic design of the the ship is that of a semi-submersible heavy-lift vessel, with  lot of logistic support capabilities layered on top.

MLP-1 is a modular, adaptable platform that may be used across a broad range of military operations supporting multiple operational phases. Acting as a mobile seabase, MLP will be part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to provide prepositioned equipment and supplies with flexible distribution.

The 83,000 ton, 785-foot ship will leverage float-on/float-off technology, allowing Montford Point to partially submerge, facilitating easy movement of cargo and craft. Additionally, the ship's size allows for 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equipment stowage space and 380,000 gallons of JP-5 fuel storage.

MLP-1 has a maximum speed of 15 knots and range of 9,500 nautical miles.

Following delivery, the ship will undergo test and trials period to install and incorporate the ship's Core Capabilities Set (CCS) in Portland, Ore. The CCS includes modules that support a vehicle staging area, sideport ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three landing craft air cushioned (LCAC) vessel lanes. With this set of capabilities, MLP-1 is able to easily transfer personnel and vehicles from other vessels such as the large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ships (LMSRs) onto LCAC vehicles and transport them ashore.

The ship is owned by U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) and operated by a 34-person civilian-mariner crew under contract to MSC. The Navy plans to integrate an MLP into each of MSC's Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadrons. These ships, coupled with a maritime prepositioning force (MPF), auxiliary dry cargo/ammunition ship (T-AKE) and legacy platforms, provide a first step in crafting a sea-based capability and illuminating future seabasing requirements.

"MLP-1 has gone from concept to delivery in under five years, a remarkable feat reflecting the diligent work of the Navy and shipbuilding team from design through testing and trials," said Capt. Henry Stevens, PEO Ships' program manager for strategic and theater sealift. "With its open, reconfigurable mission deck, USNS Montford Point will deliver innovation and exceptional flexibility to future Fleet operations."

Delivery of Montford Point marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy and is a major milestone in the ship's transition to operational status. Delivery follows the successful completion of Acceptance Trials, evaluating the ship's major systems and equipment.

The ship is named in honor of the 20,000 African-American Marine Corps recruits trained at Montford Point Camp, N.C.,

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