General Dynamics NASSCO has been awarded a $498 million contract to build the fourth Mobile Landing Platform that will be the second configured as a so-called Afloat Forward Staging Base for mine countermeasure (MCM) helicopters and special operations forces (SOF) and U.S. Marines, the company announced on Monday.
The ship — based on the hull of an Alaska-class crude oil tanker — will be built at NASSCO’s San Diego, Calif. shipyard and will be completed by 2018, according to a Friday Department of Defense contract announcement.
“Under this option, NASSCO will provide the detail design and construction efforts to build the second AFSB of the Mobile Landing Platform-class ships,” read a statement from NASSCO.
The contract modification that funds the construction follows the first AFSB — USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3/AFSB-1) — which was launched at the San Diego yard in November.
The 764-foot ship will field large helicopter deck capable of fielding MH-53E Sea Dragon MCM helos and provide accommodations for up to 250.