The U.S. Navy on Tuesday accepted delivery of the very first Mobile Landing Platform, USNS Montford Point (MLP 1), from General Dynamics-NASSCO in San Diego, Calif.
The Mobile Landing Platform is a new class of ship that is expected to provide the capability for large-scale logistics movements such as the transfer of light and heavy vehicles and equipment from sea to shore.
“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.”
Named in honor of the 20,000 African-American Marine Corps recruits trained at Montford Point Camp, N.C., MLP-1 is a modular, adaptable platform that may be used across a broad range of military operations supporting multiple operational phases. The Navy says that the vessel will act as a mobile seabase, and 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 is equipped with float-on/float-off technology, allowing Montford Point to partially submerge, facilitating movement of cargo and craft. 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 9500 nautical miles.
The Montford Point will now 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. This will allow the MLP-1 to 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.
MONTFORD POINT Photo Gallery:
MSC operates approximately 110 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.