San Diego shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO marked 2015 with the delivery of three lead ships: USNS Lewis B. Puller, the Isla Bella and the Lone Star State, all representing new first-in-class vessels.
1. USNS Lewis B. Puller
In June, NASSCO delivered the USNS Lewis B. Puller to the U.S. Navy, the first ship in the Expeditionary Base Mobile (ESB) class. Previously known as a Mobile Landing Platform Afloat Forward Staging Base (MLP AFSB), the 784-foot long ship include a 52,000 square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, mission planning spaces and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. The vessel will operate in support of Air Mine Counter Measures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and Marine Corps crisis response. The ship is also designed to support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters, and will be upgraded to support MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft.
In October, NASSCO shipbuilders began construction on a second ESB, and in December 2015, Congress approved $635 million in funding for a third ESB.
2. Isla Bella
In October, NASSCO delivered the world’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containership, the Isla Bella, to TOTE Maritime nearly two months ahead of schedule. Isla Bella is the first in a two-ship contract signed in December 2012 with TOTE. The 764-foot long Marlin Class containerships are the largest dry cargo ships powered by LNG, making them the cleanest ships of their type anywhere in the world. The Isla Bella’s sister ship, the Perla Del Caribe, is currently under its final stages of construction at the NASSCO shipyard and is scheduled to be delivered to TOTE during the first quarter of 2016.
3. Lone Star State
In November, NASSCO also delivered the first ECO-Class tanker, the Lone Star State, to American Petroleum Tankers (APT). The new ECO Class tanker is the first of a five-tanker contract between NASSCO and APT, which calls for the design and construction of five 50,000 deadweight-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tankers with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity. The 610-foot-long tankers were built with a new “ECO” design, offering significantly improved fuel efficiency and the latest environmental protection features. The tankers are 33 percent more fuel-efficient than the previous five tankers built by NASSCO for APT between 2007 and 2010.
For its commercial work, NASSCO partners with South Korean shipbuilding power, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), for access to state-of-the-art ship design and shipbuilding technologies.