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A mobile offshore base or MOB is a concept for supporting military operations where conventional land bases are not available.

In concept, a mobile offshore base (MOB) is a modular floating base that can be deployed to an area of national defense interest to provide flight, maintenance, supply and other forward logistics support operations. MOB modules will most likely be semisubmersibles which have significantly smaller wave-induced motions compared to conventional hulls.

This modularity supports the widest possible range of air support, ranging from vertical/short takeoff and landing (VSTOL) aircraft using a single module to conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft using several serially aligned modules approaching 2 km (6,000 feet) in length. In addition, a MOB accepts ship-borne cargo, provides nominally 280 000 m² (3 million square feet) for equipment storage and maintenance, stores 40 million litres (10 million gallons) of fuel, houses up to 3,000 troops (an Army heavy brigade), and discharges resources to the shore via a variety of landing craft. The cluster could have an air strip that could hold a large aircraft such as the C-17.

The idea was first voiced when the United States entered Operation Desert Shield. The United States was forced to request the use of allied bases. With this concept the U.S. could have a base anywhere in the world in as little as a month. The base has unlimited capabilities, and most of its creators do not envision a floating air strip but a town-sized base.

A report presented to the United States Congress in April 2000 identified that such a base was technologically feasible and could be built by United States industry. A further report in 2001 by the Institute for Defense Analyses concluded that the estimated US$5 billion to US$8 billion was less cost effective than alternate solutions. [1]

Once positioned, the MOB would operate as a base for an extended period, so would need to have port-like facilities for unloading and loading conventional container and Roll On/Roll Off ships.[2]

The JMOB

The "Joint Mobile Offshore Base" was a MOB concept for expeditionary warfare and humanitarian and commercial operations developed in the late 1990s by McDermott International Inc. of Arlington, Virginia. The JMOB was to be comprised of five self-powered units and a one-mile long runway that could accommodate a fully-loaded C-17 Globemaster III. NATO was thought to be interested in the concept at the time.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Mobile Offshore Base". GlobalSecurity.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/mob.htm. Retrieved 2006-06-18.  
  2. ^ (PDF) Cargo Container Transfer Requirements for the Mobile Offshore Base. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 1998-04-01. http://www.isd.mel.nist.gov/documents/goodwin/MOB_Crane_Requirements.pdf. Retrieved 2006-06-18.  
  3. ^ Wilson, Jim (2003), "Military Joint Mobile Offshore Base", Cover story in Popular Mechanics, April issue.
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