ST Engineering North America's shipbuilding arm VT Halter Marine has launched the first two berthing barges as part of the U.S. Navy's Auxiliary Personnel Lighter–Small program.
The initial APL(S) vessels were moved from dockside at a Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard to the dry dock and are undergoing interior work, ST Engineering said Tuesday.
VT Halter Marine secured a potential $244M firm-fixed-price contract from the Navy in 2018 to build up to six barges. The company has hoisted modules onto the third barge and laid the keel on the fourth boat.
APL(S) vessels are designed to provide berthing spaces that can accommodate 537 enlisted personnel and 74 officers, according to ST Engineering.
The company aims to deliver the first two units this fall and the third vessel in the first quarter of next year.