Integrated Landing Platform (ILP)
The Integrated Landing Platform (ILP) is a key element of integral lighterage interface with surface craft. The ILP is an organic, self-deploying floating platform. The integrated landing platform, or ILP, is envisioned to be the primary surface craft interface point for the prepositioning ships and will handle both air cushioned and displacement lighterage.The ILP R&D effort is designed as a series of incremental analysis and demonstration efforts. These efforts are designed to provide spiral of analysis and full scale test results to reduce risk and demonstrate higher sea states
Model tests were conducted late September and early October 2003. The model test measured motions and forces of ILP along side model. The test matrix included: Random seas in SS 3, 4, and 5; A range of headings with ILP on windward and leeward side; and Sea swells at 2', 4', and 8' heights. The test results showed a dramatic reduction of ILP motions in the lee of the ship.
NAVSEA's Support Ships, Boats and Craft Program Office (PMS 325), working with the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock, teamed with the Maritime Administration (MARAD), U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), the Navy's Coastal Systems Station (NCSS) and contract operators to conduct at-sea demonstrations for future sealift capability. These efforts are aimed at enabling the re-supply of large cargo items to a Maritime Prepositioning Force Future ship (MPF(F)) operating as a sea based supplier for the Marine Corps. Among systems tested was a crane pendulation control system that was used to transfer cargo containers between ships under way. An evaluation of the integrated landing platform, an organic, deployable asset envisioned for MPF (F) use was also conducted.
The joint U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps concept for a new integrated landing platform capable of being handled and stowed against the side of Military Sealift Command Maritime Prepositioning Force ships was successfully tested this August on large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship USNS Red Cloud in the Chesapeake Bay near Norfolk, Va. The ILP FY04 Concept Demo was conducted 9-19 August 2004. It had two Primary Objectives: Demonstrate LCAC interface with platform floating against the side of a ship in calm conditions; and Demonstrate the ability to lift a platform suitable for LCAC interface using organic ship equipment. Both objectives were met. Multiple LCAC fly-ons were conducted over multiple days with multiple operators. Multiple lifts of platform to simulated stowed position vertically alongside the ship were completed. The test demonstrated the ability of air-cushioned landing craft to embark and disembark from a platform moored close to the side of a ship.
US Navy and Marine Corps air-cushioned landing craft have proven they can quickly transport heavy vehicles such as tanks from ship to shore much faster than the usual flat-bottomed barges known as lighterage and can do so without needing a pier or a modular causeway to move the cargo ashore. This particular test focused on air cushioned vessels and demonstrated the ability of a ship to handle and stow the ILP against its side and then deploy it for use again.
The ILP's ability to effectively accept the air-cushioned landing craft was well proven. The landing craft was able to successfully land on and launch from the ILP at almost every attempt. It was a learning experience for the landing craft operators to engage the ILP, but once attempted, they learned quickly. The other operational obstacle was determining if the platform itself could be lifted and stowed against the vessel. This, too, was feasible, and Red Cloud's crew was able to repeatedly demonstrate this ability," said Vann.
Future ILP Efforts/Demos include designing and building a demo platform for future demos. These would include: LCAC fly-on in rougher waters; Higher sea states with instrumented platform moored to ship; and RO/RO ops to platform.
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