General Dynamics (GD) NASSCO has received a $60m contract from the US Navy to purchase long-lead materials for the construction of a third mobile landing platform (MLP) ship.

The MLP will join the three maritime prepositioning force squadrons of the US Navy that are strategically located around the world to enable rapid response in a crisis.

The 233m-long and 50m-wide MLPs are a new class of auxiliary ship with deadweight in excess of 60,000t.

NASSCO is already under a contract to build two MLP ships and a fully funded construction contract for the third MLP is expected to be awarded early next year.