US Navy’s new San Antonio-class ship wraps up builder’s trials

The US Navy’s new San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28) has successfully completed the builder’s trials.

Builder’s trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the navy and the shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) to assess the ship’s systems and readiness prior to acceptance trials and delivery to the navy. The ship was christened at a ceremony held in August this year.

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In March last year, the US Navy announced the launch of the USS Fort Lauderdale.

The San Antonio-class is the latest addition to the US Navy’s amphibious assault force. The 208.4 meter-long, 32 meter-wide ships are used to embark and land marines, their equipment and supplies ashore via air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles.

Furthermore, the ship’s capabilities are enhanced by its flight deck and hangar, enabling the ship to operate a variety of Marine Corps helicopters and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22). Because of the ship’s inherent capabilities, they are able to support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations, expeditionary warfare, or disaster relief missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups, or Joint Task Forces.

HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding Division is currently in production of the future USS Richard S. McCool (LPD 29) and the future USS Harrisburg (LPD 30). LPD 28 and 29 will serve as transition ships to LPD 30 – the first LPD 17 Flight II ship.

“The completion of Builder’s trials is a great first step in ensuring operational readiness of the vessel and the capabilities it will soon bring to the fleet,” said Capt. Scot Searles, San Antonio-class Program Office, program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.

Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries