US Navy Builds a New Class of Sea-Basing Ships | World Defense

US Navy Builds a New Class of Sea-Basing Ships

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The Navy is making progress building a new class of ships configured for sea-basing and expeditionary missions as a way to help account for a shortage of amphibious assault ships and forward-position Marines, sailors, special operations forces, air assets and ship-to-shore connector vehicles, service officials said.

So far, the Navy has built and delivered two of five planned Mobile Landing Platforms, or MLPs — commercial oil ships re-engineered for military sea-basing and transport missions. In total, the service plans to build five MLPs with the last three termed Afloat Forward Staging Bases, or AFSBs – MLPs designed with a flight deck to support aviation operations.

The MLP is a massive 80,000-ton, 785 foot-long commercial Alaska-class crude oil carrier configured to perform a range of military missions such as amphibious cargo on-load/off-load and logistics support. The MLP can reach speeds of 15 knots, has a draft of 29-feet and can carry a crew of 34.

The ship is engineered to ballast down and lower into the water, allowing three Landing Craft Air Cushion, or LCAC, lanes for amphibious loading and unloading and equipment transport such as vehicles and large land equipment and weapons. The MLP has as much as 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equipment storage space on deck, Navy officials said explained.

Source: Navy Builds a New Class of Sea-Basing Ships | Fox News
 
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