SAN DIEGO, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The future USNS Montford Point, the first vessel in a new class of U.S. Navy ship, has been launched by General Dynamics NASSCO.
The Mobile Landing Platform is a a "pier in the ocean" to provide the Navy with the capability to transfer vehicles and equipment at sea to other ships to deliver vehicles and equipment ashore. The Montford Point and other MLPs will have a maximum speed of 15 knots and range of 9,500 nautical miles. The vessels are 785 feet long and displace more than 80,000 tons when fully loaded.
The design of the ship is based on the commercially designed Alaska-class crude oil carrier and leverage float-on/float-off technology.
"Working in partnership with NASSCO early in the design phase allowed us to execute an aggressive construction schedule that has stayed under budget," said Capt. Henry Stevens, PMS 385 program manager. "Even working from a preexisting design, the low rework rates have been remarkable for a first-in-class ship."
The Navy and NASSCO said the float out occurred at the company docks in San Diego. The ship is 90 percent complete and will be operational with the Navy in 2015.