Keel laid for US Navy’s LPD Flight II USS Pittsburgh
The keel for the future USS Pittsburgh (LPD 31), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, was ceremonially laid at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division, on 2 June.
As informed, the ship is the fifth US Navy vessel to be named for the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and its surrounding region, which play a central role in our national defense infrastructure.
The most recent USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) was a Los Angeles-class submarine, which served the Navy from December 1984 to August 2019.
The contemporary keel-laying ceremony represents the joining together of a ship’s major modular components at the land level, and is a significant milestone in ship production.
“Shipbuilding is a team sport and is one of the most technically complex and challenging things we do in the defense industrial base. I would like to acknowledge the professionalism, skill and perseverance of the HII shipbuilders,” said Tom Anderson, Program Executive Officer, Ships.
The San Antonio class is designed to support embarking, transporting, and landing 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 the ship to operate a variety of Marine Corps helicopters and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22).
Because of the ships’ 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, expeditionary strike groups, or joint task forces.
“The future USS Pittsburgh’s keel laying is a momentous occasion and the Navy and its industry partners look forward to working together during the construction process,” said Capt. Cedric McNeal, program manager, Amphibious Warfare Program Office, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships.
“Ultimately, LPD Flight II ships will provide capability and power projection to support a myriad of employment scenarios as a key component of the Amphibious Force structure for decades to come.”
The company has delivered 12 San Antonio-class ships to the Navy and has three more under construction, including Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29), Harrisburg (LPD 30) and Pittsburgh (LPD 31), which will be the second Flight II LPD. LPD 32 construction contract was awarded earlier this year.
LPD Flight II is the next generation amphibious ship to replace Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) classes of dock landing ships.