The US Navy’s first ship of the mobile landing platform (MLP) class, USNS Montford Point (MLP 1), has successfully completed builder’s sea trials in San Diego, US.
During the tests, the USNS Montford Point’s systems were tested and validated in preparation for final inspection by the US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) in mid-April 2013 prior to its delivery.
The ship has validated its propulsion, ballasting, communications, navigation and mission systems, as well as related support systems capability during the testing.
Strategic and Theater Sealift programme manager captain Henry Stevens said: "The ship performed well, and pending additional trials and delivery later this year, MLP 1 will help transition the navy toward increased modularity and operational flexibility in its ships."
General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding (NASSCO) built MLP 1 ship can cruise at a maximum speed of about 20k and can accommodate a crew of 1,112, along with their equipment.
NASSCO will perform additional necessary work required to prepare the ship for acceptance trials.
The new class of auxiliary support ship, MLP vessels have been designed to serve as a transfer station or floating pier at sea to deliver equipment and cargo from sea to shore, or when access to other bases is denied for the navy and marine corps.
Powered by twin screw diesel electric propulsion system comprising foulMAN/B&W medium speed diesel engines, 24MW diesel electric plant, and 2MW azimuthing bow thrusters, the vessel is capable of reconfiguring to support a wide variety of future operations.
The US Navy is expected to receive the first 233m-long, 50m-wide MLP 1 in fiscal year 2013 and will be operational in fiscal 2015.
USNS John Glenn (MLP 2) and USNS Lewis B Puller (MLP 3), the second and third MPL-class ships respectively, are currently under construction at NASSCO.
Image: Officials aboard the USNS Montford Point’s main deck. Photo: courtesy of US Navy mass communication specialist 1st class Peter D Lawlor / Released.