The Navy on Monday awarded General Dynamics NASSCO a $128.5 million contract for the detailed design and construction of the third mobile landing platform, a special support ship.

The MLP 2 John Glenn undergoing trials off of Pt. Loma. NASSCO photo

The MLP-class ships serve as floating bases for amphibious operations, and operate as a transfer point between large ships and small landing craft.

NASSCO delivered the second ship in the class, the John Glenn, earlier this year.

Under the new contract, NASSCO will convert the Lewis B. Puller, now under construction, to a variant of the design called an afloat forward staging base.

The work will be performed at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard and is scheduled to be completed by October 2015.

The Navy said the Lewis B. Puller  is designed to facilitate a wide variety of future missions. It will have accommodations for 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck.

NASSCO is a business unit of General Dynamics.

— From a General Dynamics NASSCO press release

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.