U.S. Yards Invited To Bid On First Maritime Prepositioning Ships

Private American shipyards have been invited to bid on the first Lwo Maritime Prepositioning Ships, a new class of cargo vessels designed to provide standby logistic support for the rapid deployment of United States Marines around the world.

The invitation was extended by the Maritime Administration (MarAd), under a joint agreement with the Department of Defense. MarAd will serve as the contracting authority for the construction of the vessels, and will turn them over to the U.S. Navy upon delivery of the shipyard (s).

The Naval Sea Systems Command will be responsible for the overall overall program, and the Navy's Military Sealift Command will operate the ships. A joint program office is being organized to administer the entire program.

Up to eight new ships in this class, designated by MarAd as C8-M-MA134j, are planned by the Navy. MarAd has invited sealed bids on the first two vessels (either one or both) on or before October 22, 1980. All bids will be publicly opened at the Commerce Department at 2:15 p.m. that day.

The ships will have an overall length of 831 feet 6 inches, a displacement of 48,800 long tons at design draft, a carrying capacity of 28,000 deadweight tons, and a service speed of 20 knots.

Interior cargo volume will exceed 2.6 million cubic feet. Four twin deck cranes will provide both standard and heavy lift-on/ lift-off access to the ship's five holds.

Vehicles will roll on and off the ship via a stern ramp. Each ship will have up to 225,000 square feet of roll-on/roll-off deck area, including cardecks, and a maximum container capacity of 1,958 t w e n t y - f o o t - e q u i v a l e n t units (TEUs).

Options thus would be provided for any combination of cargoes, ranging from heavy tanks to refrigerated containers filled with perishables.

The ship will be propelled by two medium-speed energy-efficient diesel engines generating a total of 27,000 bhp.

The design also calls for a helicopter pad on the stern, and for the installation of dehumidification systems to provide long-term preservation of the cargo.

The existing N a v y / M a r i ne Corps sealift support plan calls for the conversion of four roll-on/ roll-off ships currently in the U.S.

merchant fleet to serve with the eight new prepositioning ships.

The 12 vessels together would support three Marine Amphibious Brigades (MABs). In the event of an emergency, MAB personnel would be airlifted to a point of rendezvous with their support vessels.

Delivery of the first ship would be due 29 months after the signing of a construction contract, and the second within 34 months of the signing.

The Maritime Prepositioning Ship design grew out of MarAd's ongoing development of a multipurpose mobilization ship design known as the Security Class. The purpose of that program is to prepare the detailed design of a vessel or vessels that could be produced quickly in an emergency, as Liberty and Victory ships were in World War II.

M. Rosenblatt & Son, Inc. of New York developed the contract design for the Maritime Prepositioning Ship. The firm is continuing work on the contract design of other versions of the Security Class under a contract with Mar- Ad.

Other stories from September 15, 1980 issue

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