GD-NASSCO gets $136m long-lead deal for sixth ESB ship

US Navy file photo of USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB 3)

The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding a $136.7 million contract for the procurement of long lead time materials for the US Navy’s sixth Expeditionary Sea Base ship.

Long lead time contracts are awarded to contractors to establish pre-production and engineering support before ships start construction.

This contract will allow GD NASSCO to buy main diesel generator engines, propeller and shafting, integrated bridge electronics, centrifugal pumps, fuel and lube oil purifiers and steering gear components.

ESB 6 will be the sixth ship in a class that comprises first two Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD) ships and follow-on, modified Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) vessels.

The 784-foot-long ships enable servicemen and women to carry out an array of missions including air mine counter measures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid, disaster relief missions, Marine Corps crisis response and more. MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters, and MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft are all supported.

GD has so far delivered four ships in the class while construction on USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5), the fifth ship in the class, officially started with a keel-laying ceremony in San Diego on January 30, 2018.

USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1) and USNS John Glenn (T-ESD 2) are configured with a vehicle staging area, vehicle transfer ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vessel lanes to support its core equipment transfer requirements.

ESBs are optimized to support a variety of maritime based missions including special operations force (SOF) and airborne mine counter measures (AMCM). They include a four-spot flight deck and hangar and are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets.

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