Bollinger Shipyards been awarded U.S. Navy contract for the detailed design and construction of the sixth Auxiliary Personnel Lighter–Small (APL(S)) 67 Class berthing and messing barge.
Construction will take place at the renamed Bollinger Mississippi Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi and is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2023.
The previous five APLs were built by VT Halter Marine, which Bollinger acquired in late 2022. Halter received the initial contract in 2018 covering an initial two units, with options for four additional units.
Ben Bordelon, President and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards, thanked the U.S. Navy for entrusting the company to build the sixth APL berthing barge. “This contract is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team at Bollinger, and our commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable vessels that meet the Navy’s rigorous standards. We look forward to continuing to grow our partnership with the Navy and delivering this critical asset to support our national defense,” Bordelon said.
APLs are used by the Navy to house crewmembers when ships are in port for availabilities and Inter-Deployment Training Cycles. The mobile barges can be towed to new bases or shipyards to support changing needs, while also offering potential use for humanitarian missions and other temporary assignments.
Each APL is 269-feet-long, 69-feet-wide, and has a draft of 7 feet. The vessel is equipped with offices, classrooms, washrooms, laundry facilities, medical treatment areas, a barber shop, and a fitness center. The mess seating accommodates 224 enlisted personnel and 28 officers. Each meal is served via five 20-minute shifts to allow food service for 1,130 personnel (three meals per day).
The vessels have mixed gender berthing spaces for 74 officers and 537 enlisted personnel, accommodating a total of 611 people.
The Auxiliary Personnel Lighter-Small (APL(S)) program for the U.S. Navy was among other key U.S. Government shipbuilding programs, including the up to $1.9 billion Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program for the U.S. Coast Guard, included in Bollinger’s acquisition of VT Halter.