The U.S. Navy notified General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in June of a modification to a contract awarded in early 2012 for construction of a new mobile landing platform (MLP), the third of a class of four, to be named the Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3). The change, valued at $11,200,000, ordered detail design for new features to be incorporated in MLP-3 and -4, each of which will designated an Afloat Forward Staging Base, or AFSB.
In May the Navy took delivery of the first ship, the USNS Montford Point (MLP-1) at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard. The vessel will go through further testing and trials leading to installation of a Core Capabilities Set, which includes a sideport ramp, large mooring fenders, and landing-craft air-cushioned lanes, all intended to facilitate the transfer of vehicles and cargo to and from joint high-speed vessels and large medium-speed roll-on/roll-off cargo ships.
NASSCO laid the keel for the second ship, the John Glenn (MLP-2) in December 2012 and expects to launch and christen her this fall.