Custom made straddle carrier designed for the US Navy

Custom made straddle carrier designed for the US Navy

On the odd occasion a customer will contact Mobicon Systems with extra special requirements. They want a Mobicon mini Straddle Carrier, however due to the nature of their business, there are additional specifications that they need included.

In these instances the team at Mobicon will assess the customer’s needs and determine whether a ‘special’ Mobicon mini Straddle Carrier can be designed and built for its intended purpose while still ensuring that it still meets the exacting standards, extreme good quality, integrity and functionality that all Mobicon products boast.

One particular case occurred in 2004 after Mobicon entered the international market where they became known to the builders of the United States Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).

The US Navy’s LCS is a high speed, 127-metre aluminium trimaran, which provides the Navy with multi-mission capability and superior aviation operations. It is the first of a new family of surface ships for the US Navy, intended to operate in coastal areas of the globe. These ships are fast, highly manoeuvrable and geared to supporting mine detection and elimination, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.

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 $14bil over a 15 year period.

The trimaran hull permits the ship to carry a large capacity of mission modules supporting the LCS missions. Therefore a container handler needed to be able to work within the hull of the LCS. This is where the builders of these ships needed assistance and Mobicon Systems was able to provide the solution.

Specifically designed for the Navy, based on the original Mobicon Mini Straddle Carrier, the resulting machine has specific modifications as required. Heavily patented, the LCS Mobicon is the only machine in the world that can work on an aluminium ship. The Mobicon is designed to be more manoeuvrable and lighter than any other container handlers in order to move around the hull of the LCS efficiently and effectively, ensuring mission timelines are met.

4 years after the initial contact, the first delivery of a Mobicon to the US Navy was completed in 2008.  The Mobicon solution has since proven so successful that a further 11 were ordered.

Another case where a ‘special’ Mobicon was built was for client Better Buildings. The client needed a Mini Straddle Carrier that could handle 15m long buildings, that could vary in width from 2.4m to 5.4m. At the same time it needed to be very manoeuvrable to move the buildings inside their factory. The Mobicon design team came up with an 8-wheel drive and 8-wheel steer mini Straddle carrier that had an expandable top beam to adjust the width.

Both the LCS, and the “Better Building” Mobicon have performed very well in their unique environments.

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