General Dynamics NASSCO, a subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), was awarded a $106 million contract by the U.S. Navy to procure long lead time material and engineering support for the Expeditionary Mobile Base 5 (ESB-5), formerly known as the Mobile Landing Platform Afloat Forward Staging Base program.
In 2011, the Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first two ships in the newly created Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) program, the USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn.
In 2012, the program expanded to a third MLP, reconfigured as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), the USNS Lewis B. Puller. With the first three ships delivered, NASSCO is currently constructing the fourth ship in the program, an AFSB reclassified as an ESB, the USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams.
Procurement of long lead time materials is expected to be completed by March 2017. The ESB is designed to serve as a flexible platform and a key element in the Navy’s airborne mine countermeasures mission, with accommodations for up to 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck.