General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has been awarded a $3.5m design contract for the U.S. Navy’s Mobile Landing Ship (MLP) program. Under the contract, NASSCO will develop a preliminary ship design based on Navy requirements. A contract for the detail design and construction of up to three ships could be awarded next year.
The MLP is a new class of auxiliary ship for the Navy's Maritime Prepositioning Force of the Future (MPF(F)) program. The ship is intended to serve as a transfer station or “floating pier at sea,” improving the U.S. military’s ability to deliver equipment and cargo to areas where port access is limited or unavailable. Early requirements of the ship include the ability to land helicopters, a facility for the operation of air cushioned landing crafts (LCACs), and the capability for ship-to-ship transfer of equipment from large-draft prepositioning ships to others vessels, including T-AKE ships.