MLP 2 Ship

The US Navy’s second mobile landing platform (MLP) ship, USNS John Glenn (MLP 2), has successfully completed final contract trials (FCT) off the coast of Manchester, Washington, US.

During the at-sea testing conducted by the US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), the vessel validated its various hull, mechanical and electrical systems, and met navy standards and requirements.

Constructed by the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), USNS John Glenn can transfer vehicles, supplies, equipment and personnel from large maritime pre-positioning force ships to on-shore locations using landing craft-air cushions (LCAC).

Programme Executive Office, Ships strategic and theatre sealift programme manager captain Henry Steven said: "Highly versatile non-combatant vessels like John Glenn make our large scale at-sea missions possible.

"Highly versatile non-combatant vessels like John Glenn make our large scale at-sea missions possible."

"The ship’s extensive vehicle and stowage space and remarkable transport capabilities will greatly facilitate operations across geographic combatant commands, especially in areas where port access by larger ships is difficult or impossible."

The MLP 2, owned by the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC), uses float-on / float-off technology to partially submerge to support and conduct various operations, including humanitarian support and sustainment of traditional military missions.

Operated by a 34-person civilian-marine crew, the ship will be assigned to one of the two geographically responsible Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadrons.

USNS Montford Point, the US Navy’s first MLP, is currently undergoing core capabilities demonstrations following completion of its FCT less than a year ago.

Image: USNS John Glenn (MLP 2) underway off the California coast. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy photo / released.

Defence Technology