GD NASSCO Completes First MLP Hull Ahead of Schedule
The shipbuilders of General Dynamics NASSCO have completed the structural assembly and weld-out of 26,241 metric tons of steel to erect the entire structure of the first Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) for the U.S. Navy. Construction of the ship is progressing on schedule and under budget, with delivery scheduled for the second quarter of 2013.
The final block for the first MLP ship, comprised of the ship’s exhaust stacks and weighing 277 short tons, was lifted onboard via crane and installed on August 17. The final structural welds were completed August 31 and inspected by the American Bureau of Shipping and the Navy. Work is continuing on outfitting and painting the ship in preparation for a November 13 undocking.
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“The MLP is the beneficiary of the ship-construction lessons learned during the successful T-AKE Program and a concerted ‘Design for Producibility’ effort,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “With this ship, we have further reduced construction time and applied improvements that have increased the efficiency of our workforce.”
NASSCO is the sole designer of the MLP ships and has construction contracts to build three. Once delivered to the fleet, MLP ships will join the Maritime Prepositioning Force squadrons that are strategically located around the world to enable rapid response in a crisis. These ships will provide a “pier at sea” that will become the core of the Navy/Marine Corps sea basing concept. This capability will allow prepositioning ships to offload equipment and supplies to the MLP for transfer to shore by other vessels.
Through the T-AKE Program, NASSCO has produced 14 “Lewis and Clark” class dry cargo/ammunition ships. Construction of the first ship began in 2003, and the final ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy later this year. These ships provide logistic lift from sources of supply, either in port or at sea, and transfer cargo that includes ammunition, food, fuel, repair parts, and expendable supplies and material to station ships and other naval warfare forces at sea.
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Source : General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD)