mobile landing ship USNS John Glenn (MLP 2)

General Dynamics NASSCO has successfully delivered the second mobile landing platform (MLP) ship, USNS John Glenn (MLP 2), to the US Navy.

The second MLP ship has been named to honour the former US Marine Corps pilot and US senator John Herschel Glenn, who is also the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.

General Dynamics NASSCO president Fred Harris said: "We are delivering this ship with the quality, innovation and capability needed to support the future missions of the nation’s fleet and uniformed men and women around the world."

The 785ft-long MLP is a new class of auxiliary vessel being designed for the US Navy to serve as a floating base for amphibious operations and a transfer point between large ships and small landing craft.

Powered by a twin-screw diesel electric propulsion system integrating four MAN/B&W medium-speed diesel engines, the new MLP ships will enter service with three maritime prepositioning force (MPF) squadrons to support a wide range of missions including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, amphibious and other combat missions.

The third ship of the class, MLP 3, is currently under construction by NASSCO and will be configured as an afloat forward staging base (AFSB).

MLP 3 is expected to be delivered to the US Navy in the second quarter of 2015.

"MLP 3 is expected to be delivered to the US Navy in the second quarter of 2015."

Separately, the US Navy has placed orders with General Dynamics for maintenance and modernisation of the Virginia-class attack submarine, USS Minnesota (SSN-783).

Under the $57m contract, the company will perform a post-shakedown availability, which consists of maintenance work, repairs, alternations and testing to ensure the submarine is operating at full technical capacity.

Scheduled to be completed in February 2015, work under the contract will be conducted at the Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, US.

Image: US Navy’s second mobile landing platform, USNS John Glenn (MLP 2), underway off the California coast. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.

Defence Technology