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Contract Awarded for Additional Expeditionary Sea Bases

The third Expeditionary Sea Base ship, Lewis B. Puller.
The third Expeditionary Sea Base ship, Lewis B. Puller.

By The Maritime Executive 2019-08-24 21:03:34

General Dynamics NASSCO has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy worth up to $1.6 billion for the construction of the sixth and seventh ships of the Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program, as well as an option for ESB 8.

The contract, announced by the Department of Defense on Friday, provides $1.08 billion as a fixed-price-incentive modification to a previous contract for the design and construction of the two ships, with an option for the third that, if exercised, would bring the total cumulative value to $1.63 billion.

Named after famous names or places of historical significance to U.S. Marines, ESBs 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. The ships' configuration supports special warfare and Marine Corps task-organized units.

Work on the two new ships of the ESB program is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2020 and continue to the second quarter of 2023.

In 2011, the Navy awarded NASSCO a contract to design and build the first two ships - the Expeditionary Transfer Docks USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn. The program expanded with three more vessels, the USS Lewis B. Puller, USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams and the Miguel Keith, configured as ESBs. Following the delivery of the first four ships to the U.S. Navy, the fifth ship, the Miguel Keith, is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn are configured with a vehicle staging area, vehicle transfer ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three Landing Craft Air Cushion vessel lanes. With a 9,500 nautical mile range at a sustained speed of 15 knots, these approximately 80,000 tons, 785-foot ships leverage float-on/float-off technology and a reconfigurable mission deck to maximize capability. Additionally, the ships' size allows for 25,000 square feet of vehicle and equipment stowage space and 380,000 gallons of JP-5 fuel storage.

USS Lewis B. Puller, the first Expeditionary Sea Base delivered, along with follow ships Hershel "Woody" Williams and Miguel Keith, are being optimized to support a variety of maritime based missions, including Special Operations Forces and Airborne Mine Counter Measures. They include a four spot flight deck and mission deck and hangar and are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support and command and control assets.

General Characteristics Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD)

Builder: NASSCO
Propulsion: Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion
Length: 239.3 meters (785 feet)
Beam: 50 meters (164 feet)
Displacement: 78,000 tons (fully loaded)
Draft: nine meters (fully loaded); 12 meters (load line)
Speed: 15 knots
Range: 9,500 nautical miles
Crew: 34 Military Sealift Command personnel
 
General Characteristics, Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB)

Builder: NASSCO
Propulsion: Commercial Diesel Electric Propulsion
Length: 239.3 meters (785 feet)
Beam: 50 meters (164 feet)
Displacement: 90,000 tons (fully loaded)
Draft: 10.5 meters (fully loaded); 12 meters (load line)
Speed: 15 knots
Range: 9,500 nautical miles
Crew: 34 Military Sealift Command personnel