VT Halter Marine has achieved multiple milestones on the Auxiliary Personnel Lighter–Small (APL(S)) program, including the launch of the first two berthing barges, erected modules on the third barge and laid the keel on the fourth barge, the company reported on Wednesday.
“It’s been an exciting and busy time in our shipyard this week,” said Bob Merchent, president and CEO of Halter Marine. “We safely and successfully launched two barges and reached significant milestones on the third and fourth barges.”
Halter Marine received the initial contract to design and build two units, with options for four additional units, in Sept. 2018. Construction of all APLs is firm, fixed-price, with a total contract value of over $244 million, if all of the options are exercised,
The company has projected to deliver the first two APLs in fall 2020, and the third vessel is due to be delivered in the first quarter of 2021. The fourth vessel is expected to be complete in the summer of 2021.
“The launches were carefully orchestrated to ensure a safe transition from dockside to our dry dock. I am proud of the dedication of the women and men at Halter Marine for their outstanding work,” Bob Merchent added.
APLs will be used by the Navy to house crewmembers when ships are in port for availabilities and Inter-Deployment Training Cycles. The barges are mobile and can be towed to new bases or shipyards to support changing fleet requirements and also offer potential use for humanitarian missions and other temporary assignments.
Halter Marine’s vessels will be capable of seating 228 enlisted personnel and 56 officers for each meal. Each vessel is equipped with offices, classrooms, washrooms, laundry facilities, medical treatment areas, barber shop and fitness center.
“My team worked closely with the U.S. Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Signet, the harbor pilots and our sister company, ST Engineering Halter Marine and Offshore to plan to execute successful back-to-back dry dock launches along with the keel laying ceremony and adding modules to APL No. 3,” said Kevin Amis, executive vice president of Operations.
About VT Halter Marine
VT Halter Marine, the marine operations of ST Engineering North America, is based in Pascagoula, Miss., and is a leader in the design and construction of medium-sized ships in the United States. VT Halter Marine designs, builds and repairs a wide variety of ocean-going vessels such as patrol vessels, oil recovery vessels, oil cargo vessels, ferries, logistic support vessels, auxiliaries, and research and survey vessels.