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Mobicon awarded US Navy contract

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The innovative Australian designed Mobicon container handler will be heading to the U.S. as a part of a contract to Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company, for the new United States Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship project.

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a high speed 127 metre aluminum trimaran that will provide the U.S Navy with multi-mission capability and superior aviation operations. It is the first of a new family of surface ships for the U.S Navy, and is a key element in the Navy’s plan to address the threats posed by asymmetric warfare.

According to Mr Tom Schults, Managing Director of Mobicon Systems the Mobicon was awarded the contract by Bath Iron Works (BIW) as it was deemed the only container handler in the world that was light and versatile enough for the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship.

The Mobicon will support the war fighting capability of the LCS, which will be equipped with specialised mission packages. The Mobicon will transfer and relocate these mission packages, allowing the ship to be reconfigured as and when required. The machine will transport equipment from the wharf where the LCS is moored in to the mission bay of the ship.

According to Schults, one of the benefits of the Mobicon for the new Navy Littoral Combat Ship is that its low wheel loads, stability, and maneuverability are especially useful when working with container payloads on the deck of the mission bay import and at sea.

“The Mobicon has extremely low axle loadings; in fact the lowest in the world and this is crucial for handling on the decks of ships. The LCS project is a very exciting opportunity for my company and we look forward to working with Bath Iron Works and the U.S Navy,” he says.

“We are very proud that an Australian designed container handler has been selected over other equipment available in the world market.”

“The Mobicon fills a gap in the market and I designed it for those companies that stuff or de-stuff containers. Most of these companies never had the ability to handle their own containers.”

“The Mobicon has changed that. Once companies start using the Mobicon they quickly realise the significant benefits that the machine brings to their operations. The repeat business that we have received has been overwhelmingly positive to date proving that clients are happy with the Mobicon as a container handling solution.”

What is the Mobicon?

The Mobicon is a two-tower system, and when carrying a container, the container becomes part of the structure. Moving containers lengthwise, and being able to drive inside buildings and under low awnings gives the users a flexibility that no other container handler can give, resulting in efficient and low cost handling of containerized goods.

The Mobicon weighs only 12 tonne empty, and as the weight is evenly spread across 8 wheels, the wheel loadings are less than 6 tonne when carrying a 30 tonne container. This makes the Mobicon a lighter and safer solution than heavy vehicles.

More than 50 Mobicon’s are now successfully operating across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. The Mobicon client portfolio is a who’s-who in the transport, materials handling and distribution industries and includes key players like Toll Holdings, Australian Customs, Sadleirs Transport, Booth Transport, K&S Freighters, General Motors, Kagan, DMS Glass and Simon National Carriers.

The Mobicon is ideally suited for ALL sized companies and even smaller players that handle a minimum of 5 containers a week will reap the cost effectiveness of this machine. Mobicon clients also include smaller food, beverage and manufacturing companies and many of the Mobicon’s are used in smaller yards and operations.

What is the LCS project?

The LCS is a fast, highly manoeuvrable, networked surface combat ship. Intended to operate in coastal areas of the globe, the ship will be fast, highly manoeuvrable and geared to supporting mine detection/elimination, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare, particularly against small surface craft.

The LCS is specifically designed to defeat threats in shallow, coastal water regions known as the littorals. Such threats include fast surface craft, quiet diesel submarines and mines.

The LCS vessels will be the most advanced high speed military craft in the world and are intended to operate in coastal areas globally. As a key part of the US Navy fleet, they will be highly maneuverable and configurable to support mine detection / elimination, anti-submarine and surface warfare. The General Dynamics LCS Team’s trimaran hull permits the ship to carry a large capacity of mission modules supporting these missions.

Focusing on affordability, the new LCS will provide the US Navy with the capability to defeat swarm boats, mines, diesel submarines and multiple other missions.

The US Navy has nominated the LCS project as its number one priority and has identified a need for nearly 60 vessels, with a total value of around US$14 Billion, over a 15 year period.

Who is Bath iron Works?

Led by Bath Iron Works, the General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) team provides the "Best-of-Industry" solution for the LCS program. Bath Iron Works has a track record of proven performance in the U.S.

Bath Iron Works has been awarded more than 425 shipbuilding contracts, including 245 military ships (mostly destroyers and frigates for the US Navy) and over 160 private yachts and commercial vessels. BIW became a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics in September 1995.

Navy surface combatant ship systems integration will be further supported by Austal Ships Ltd.'s leadership experience in commercial high-speed ship construction. Austal USA, of Mobile, Alabama, a subsidiary of Australian shipbuilder Austal Ships Ltd., is supporting final design efforts and is constructing the team's aluminum and steel trimaran warship, INDEPENDENCE (LCS 2). General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, of Arlington, Va., is leading the ship's open architecture-based Core Mission System design and integration from its Pittsfield, Mass. facility.

For further information on the Mobicon System please contact: 0011 64 411 873 441 or visit: www.mobiconsystems.com

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