US Navy's mobile landing platform ship artistic impression

USNS John Glenn (MLP 2), the US Navy’s second mobile landing platform (MLP) ship, has successfully completed builder’s sea trials.

During the shipbuilder sea trials, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding (NASSCO) carried out a series of tests to assess the performance as well as all of the major systems of the vessel.

Program Executive Office, Ships Strategic Sealift and Theater Sealift programme manager, captain Henry Stevens, said the vessel is scheduled to undergo acceptance trials followed by delivery to the US Navy later this year.

"John Glenn performed extremely well, a testament to the thorough preparation by NASSCO, the navy MLP programme office, and our Supervisor of Shipbuilding," Stevens said.

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

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.

"The ship has been named … John Herschel Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth."

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.

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.

Image: illustration of the US Navy’s mobile landing platform ship. Photo: courtesy of NASSCO.

Defence Technology