General Dynamics NASSCO has been awarded a contract to build up to three more Expeditionary Sea Base ships for the U.S. Navy.
The contract, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, calls for the construction two ESBs for $1.08 billion at the company’s San Diego shipyard. It also includes an option for a third vessel that, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $1.63 billion.
The Navy’s ESBs serve as a “sea base” platform with accommodations for up to 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck. The ship’s configuration supports special warfare and Marine Corps task-organized units.
The two firm vessels will be sixth and seventh vessels in the Navy’s ESB fleet.
NASSCO was awarded a contract in the 2011 to design and build the first two ships in the newly-created Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) program, the USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn. The program expanded with three more vessels, the USS Lewis B. Puller, USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams and the Miguel Keith, configured as ESBs. The fifth ship, the Miguel Keith, is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2019.
“We are pleased to be building ESB 6 and 7 for our Navy,” said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “ESBs have proven to be affordable and flexible, and as the fleet has gained experience with the platform, we have worked with the Navy and Marines to develop even more capabilities and mission sets.”
Work on the two new ships is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2020 with delivery scheduled in the second quarter of 2023.