Thursday, February 14, 2013

Modest Proposal. Cancel the MLP! Now!

You ever have one of those moments where the obvious suddenly dawns on you?  Well I did while looking for archived articles on the EFV's development.

One leg of ship to objective maneuver died with the EFV.

It can still be attained with aerial assets but the needed over the horizon, armored landing that the EFV was to provide is now no more.

In essence a decade of doctrinal planning got shit canned with the cancellation of that vehicle.  ts becoming a bit more clear why they struggled so mightily to keep it going now.

It was the backbone of how Marine Corps Theorist planned to fight future wars.

But to the issue at hand.  The MLP is part of that old planning.  My modest proposal is to cancel the remaining two ships.  Experiment with the one that we have at major exercises like Cobra Gold, and Bold Alligator 2 and work on soldifiying concepts with the gear that we will have in inventory with the current budget limitations that we know will strike...sequester or not.

I'm told that they're already under construction.  Too bad.  Perhaps a LSD replacement would have been a better use of ship yard space and money.
did we really need a ship to serve as a transfer point for vehicles from MPS ships to LCAC's or did we have something that could be used already in service????


  1. At this point, I don't think it's worth canceling the MLP. USNS Montford Point is in the water. The second MLP is under construction. There is only one more planned.

    I say build all three and test out the concept.

    Enabling offload of sealift ships without a deep water port at higher rates and sea states than an RRDF is a handy capability, IMHO. Even if the design is flawed and overpriced.

  2. i wish sea lift command and the Army had been more involved in this project. i don't think its necessary for the Marine Corps but could be invaluable to the Army and our allies. but there were better ways to get this done. quite honestly you could have an anchored floating platform built at sea (or towed to the area) that could serve the same function. i just think that sometimes the Marine Corps get hot and bothered about how many ships are directly supporting amphibious operations instead of looking at capabilities. i've seen too many fabulous concepts built around oil rig type structures that can be moved to the scene of action to get excited about this one. but with a name like Montford Point it ain't getting canned.

  3. How long would it take to tow and anchor a floating platform to where you need it? The MLPs can at least get there at 15kts on relatively short notice.

  4. good point but consider this. under what conditions will we have the luxury of establishing a sea base and using the MLP to move cargo from MPS ships to LCACs?

    these ships will only really be useful during relief operations. under every other circumstance i don't see how they are viable. between Chinese anti-ship aircraft and missiles to the intended limited duration of such operations i just don't see the need with the military that we will have going into the future.

  5. SOL you are stealing my thunder! I have been saying CANX for FOUR years. But like Smitty says it too late the USN has already committed $950 MILLION for the first three and only two will be MLPs. the third will be modified to be some dumb version of an AFSB.

    SOL the Navy dreamed this POS "pier at sea" up. The ship could/should have been designed to be MUCH more functional and at a lower cost. INLS pontoons could have been bought and loaded onboard. NO an anchored platform would NOT have worked 250 miles at sea.

    In today's world of GRAMMS working from a seabase may well be the ONLY way to sustain assault operations ashore?

    Oil rigs have NO cargo compartments and do NOT link up ships to landing craft. The oil industry has a whole cottage industry of specialized ships to support it. The USN should but those type ships NOT oil rigs.

  6. BTW the photo is of INLS pontoons configured as a Ro/RO Discharge Facility. While those pontoons are carried ONLY on MPS ships, they should have been lifted on the MLP.
    AND the RRDF is meant to connect all sealift ships to landing craft.

  7. P.S. the ppt slide you have is out-dated


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