Navy exercises option with VT Halter for fourth berthing barge

Written by Nick Blenkey
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A section of the second Auxiliary Personnel Lighter–Small is lifted into place. VT Halter Marine has now received the U.S. Navy’s contract to construct a fourth APL.

T Halter Marine Inc., Pascagoula, Miss., has been awarded a $39,906,609 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded contract. It covers the detail design and construction of a fourth Navy berthing barge, formally termed an Auxiliary Personnel Lighter – Small (APL(S)). Construction of all APL(S) craft is firm-fixed-price. The contract also includes options for associated support efforts related to the craft design and construction for deployment spare parts, crew familiarization, international delivery and production-level technical data package and rights.

VT Halter Marine is currently constructing the first three APLs. In September 2018, the company received the initial contract to design and build two units, with options for four additional units. Construction on the fourth vessel is expected to be completed in the summer of 2021. The company expects to deliver the first two APLs in the third calendar quarter of 2020 and the third vessel is due to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“I am proud of the talented men and women here at VT Halter Marine who design, build and deliver quality vessels,” said Ron Baczkowski, President and CEO. “Our engineers and shipbuilders have done excellent work in the design and construction of the first three APLs; everyone here at VT Halter Marine is honored to serve our country.”

The initial contract was for the detailed design and construction of the first and second APL with an option for four additional vessels. Should the Navy exercise all of the options with associated supplies and services, the total contract award would be in excess of $244 million.

APLs are used by the Navy to house crewmembers when ships are in port for availabilities and Inter-Deployment Training Cycles. The barges are mobile and can be towed to new bases or shipyards to support changing fleet requirements and also offer potential use for humanitarian missions and other temporary assignments.

The vessels are 82 meters long x 20.95 meters wide x 2.2 meters draft. Additionally, they are capable of seating 228 enlisted personnel and 56 officers for each meal. Each vessel is equipped with offices, classrooms, washrooms, laundry facilities, medical treatment areas, barber shop and fitness center. The vessels are being fitted with mixed gender berthing spaces for 74 officers and 537 enlisted personnel, for a total of 611 people.

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