The US Navy’s newest berthing barge, Auxiliary Personnel Lighter (APL) 69, recently conducted builder’s and acceptance trials in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The navy said that the future APL 69‘s builder’s trials consist of a series of in-port tests and demonstrations that allow shipbuilder VT Halter Marine and the navy to assess the craft’s systems to ensure installation in accordance with the original equipment manufacturer’s guidelines and that the craft design and configuration meet the contract requirements.
The acceptance trials meanwhile consist of integrated testing to demonstrate the capability of the platform and installed systems across all mission areas to effectively meet its requirements. These tests and demonstrations are witnessed by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) and are used to validate the quality of construction and compliance with specifications prior to delivery to the navy.
APLs are 269-foot (82-metre) barges that can berth up to 72 officers and 537 enlisted personnel. Mess seating is available for 224 enlisted personnel, 28 chief petty officers (CPOs) and 28 officers in 20-minute intervals, allowing food service for 1,176 personnel with three meals a day.
APLs are used to house duty crews while ships are in maintenance availabilities, and can be towed to new bases or shipyards to support changing fleet requirements. Additionally, they offer the potential use for humanitarian missions and other temporary assignments.
APLs are equipped with offices, classrooms, washrooms, laundry facilities, a medical treatment facility, a barber shop and a fitness center.
VT Halter Marine is currently in production of two additional APLs.
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