U.S. Navy INLS


Metal Trades, Inc. (Hollywood, SC) has been building barges for two generations of the U.S. Navy’s Lighterage System since 1996.  Under a multi-year sub-contract to Marinette Marine Corporation, MTI was tasked with building 64 barges for the U.S. Navy’s newest “Improved Navy Lighterage System” (INLS).  MTI built the 80’ x 24’ modules of various configurations to provide floating piers for loading and offloading vessels without the benefit of fixed port facilities.

US Navy INLS Metal Trades

US Navy INLS Module Delivery from Metal Trades

The new lighterage system comes in sections that lock together like building blocks to create a variety of floating structures.  These structures allow Navy ships to transport heavy military equipment and cargo to shore, between ships, and from ship to shore when moorings have been damaged or are unavailable.

US Navy INLS Offloading Equipment

The INLS is designed to operate in up to Sea State Three conditions and survive up to Sea State Five.  The modules are attached to each other at sea with remotely controlled hydraulically operated connectors.  Each connector has a set of eight bullets acting as ball/socket joints between modules.