NASSCO's planned layoffs could be reduced with new $744M Navy co - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

NASSCO's planned layoffs could be reduced with new $744M Navy contract

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - General Dynamics NASSCO was awarded a $744 million Navy contract to build two of a new class of landing ship -- a deal that could reduce planned layoffs, the San Diego shipbuilder announced Tuesday.

The revised Mobile Landing Platform contract provides for a new design. The ships will serve with three Maritime Prepositioning Force Squadrons, which are strategically placed for fast responses worldwide, according to the shipbuilder.

The 765-foot long MLPs will act like a pier at sea, enabling cargo ships to unload offshore.

"With the Mobile Landing Platform Program, NASSCO will continue our tradition of building high-quality ships for the U.S. Navy," Fred Harris, president of firm, said. "The first MLP ship will start production with more design, engineering and planning work complete than any ship that NASSCO has constructed since World War II."

In February, General Dynamics NAASCO announced that it anticipated as many as 1,500 layoffs by mid-July. But with the new contract, the firm's workforce could expand by the end of the calendar year.

Delivery of the first MLP is scheduled for the spring of 2013.

The deal carries an option for a third MLP, which could raise the total contract value to about $1.3 billion.

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