San Antonio-class LPD USS Fort Lauderdale soon to join US Navy

The future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28), the US Navy’s 12th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, completed acceptance trials on 31 January.

Huntington Ingalls Industries

As explained, the acceptance trials consisted of integrated testing to demonstrate the capability of the platform and installed systems across all mission areas. These demonstrations are used to validate the quality of construction and compliance with the navy specifications and requirements prior to delivery. LPD 28 will now prepare for delivery in a few weeks.

Photo by: Huntington Ingalls Industries

“With the completion of both Builder’s and Acceptance trials, we are confident that LPD 28 has proven the operational readiness of the vessel and the capabilities it will soon bring to the fleet,” said Capt. Cedric McNeal, program manager, Amphibious Warfare Program Office, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships.

“The collaboration between the Navy and our industry partners ensures that we’ll have a capable and ready ship for our Sailors.”

The San Antonio-class ships are designed to support embarking, transporting, and landing US Marines and their equipment by conventional or air-cushioned landing craft. The ship’s capabilities are further enhanced by its flight deck and hangar, enabling it to operate a variety of US Marine Corps helicopters and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22). Because of the ship’s inherent capabilities, it will be 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, Expeditionary Strike Groups, or Joint Task Forces, the officials noted.

In addition to USS Fort Lauderdale, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding Division is currently in production of the future USS Richard S. McCool (LPD 29) and the future USS Harrisburg (LPD 30), with LPD 31 planned for the start of fabrication later this spring.

LPD 28 and 29 will serve as transition ships to LPD 30 – the first LPD 17 Flight II ship, according to the navy. They will incorporate design innovations and cost-reduction strategies based upon lessons learned and improved technologies.  Additionally, the ships will have a more traditional mast in place of the two advanced enclosed mast/sensors and an updated deckhouse and boat valley design.