US Navy’s New Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) Vessel
The Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) is a new class of ship, which when made, will act as a transfer point between large ships and small landing crafts. The first of the mobile landing platform is presently being constructed for the US Navy at the General Dynamics NASSCO Shipyard in San Diego, California.
The mobile landing platform (MLP) is not be confused with the conventional landing vessels for the MLP has been designed keeping in mind present and future needs of the US Navy. The vessel will also act as a floating base for amphibious operations, wherein it can transport equipments and cargo from ship to shore.
The design of MLP is based on the design of an existing Alaska Class Crude Oil Carrier, but has been modified to serve the purpose of a float-on/float-off vessel which can carry equipments, vehicles, and cargo to shore.
Moreover, the vessel has been designed in such a way so as to allow potential future platform upgrades which can include medical, berthing, mission planning, vehicle transfer system, container handling crane, and aviation operating spots.
The main deck of the vessel is in the basic open form which can include add-on modules to support a vehicle staging area, sideport ramp, large mooring fenders, US coast guard certified flight deck, and up to three landing craft air cushioned vessel lanes.
US Navy is planning to make three of such vessels, of which, the first one is expected to be delivered in 2013 and operational by 2015.