SAN DIEGO, July 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's first mobile landing platform ship is undergoing systems tests while sailing from a California shipyard to a temporary berth in Washington.
The USNS Montford Point, built by General Dynamics's National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., will be fully operational with the Military Sealift Command in fiscal year 2015.
The vessel will be part of MSC's Maritime Prepositioning Force and function as a mobile sea-base option, providing an afloat capability for deployment of forces and supplies.
"Montford Point will provide the key link -- the pier in the ocean - - that will permit the military to engage in true sea-basing sustainment of equipment and supplies to our troops ashore from beyond the horizon," said Mike Touma, assistant engineering officer in MSC's Prepositioning Program.
The USNS Montford Point is 765 feet, has a cruise speed of 20 knots and a range of 9,000 nautical miles. It features float-on/float-off technology and a reconfigurable mission deck and add-on modules that support a vehicle staging area, vehicle transfer ramp, large mooring fenders and as many as three Landing Craft, Air Cushioned vessel lanes.
The USNS Montford Point is scheduled for final contract trials in September.