MLP ship christening

The US Navy’s second mobile landing platform (MLP) ship has been christened as USNS John Glenn (MLP 2), during a ceremony held at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding’s (NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego, US.

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

Scheduled to be delivered to the US Navy in the first quarter of 2014, the ship will undergo acceptance trials for inspection by the Navy Board of Inspection and Survey.

General Dynamics NASSCO president Fred Harris said: "The USNS John Glenn carries with it the skill, dedication and the high regard for quality of the hundreds of men and women involved in its design and construction."

A highly flexible, modular platform, MLP is a new class of auxiliary support ship designed for a broad range of military operations that include humanitarian support and sustainment of traditional military missions.

"John Herschel Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth."

Powered by twin screw diesel electric propulsion system, the 239m-long, 50m-wide MPL ships will provide support when access to other bases is denied.

The MLPs feature a reconfigurable mission deck, sideport ramp, large mooring fenders and a vehicle staging area to carry up to three air-cushioned landing craft vessels.

In addition to supporting large scale logistics movements such as the transfer of vehicles and equipment from sea to shore, the vessels significantly reduce dependency on foreign ports thus making it especially useful during disaster response and for supporting Marines once they are ashore.

Image: Ship Sponsor Lynn Glenn christens MLP 2, USNS John Glenn. Photo: courtesy of General Dynamics.

Defence Technology