VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, Miss., has started construction on the third Auxiliary Personnel Lighter – Small (APL(S)), a new class of berthing barges commissioned by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).
VT Halter Marine received a $77.9 million contract to design and build two firm units of the new class of berthing barges in September 2018, with options for another four. The company expects to deliver the first two vessels in the third quarter of 2020, and the third unit in fourth quarter 2020.
This latest barge is the first of the four optioned vessel, and was awarded the shipbuilder in February 2019, bringing the total value of this contract award to $118 million.
When completed, the Navy will use the berthing barges to house crew members when ships are in port for maintenance and Inter-Deployment Training Cycles. The APLs 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 will be 82 meters long x 20.95 meters wide x 2.2 meters draft.
Each will be capable of seating 228 enlisted personnel and 56 officers for each meal.