Huntington Ingalls Industries’ sixth amphibious transport dock, San Diego (LPD 22), successfully completed her U.S. Navy acceptance trial this week. The ship returned to Ingalls Shipbuilding Thursday after a two-day sea trial.
“It’s amazing what 25,000 tons of steel can do sailing through the Gulf of Mexico,” said Doug Lounsberry, Ingalls Shipbuilding’s vice president and program manager, LPD 17 program. “These two days at-sea prove the excellent skill and craftsmanship of an Ingalls shipbuilder. It’s teamwork at its finest, and presenting the ship capabilities to the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) provides an opportunity to show off our shipbuilding talents. I am proud of our LPD 22 team and all of the shipbuilders who played a part in this trial’s success.”
With the INSURV Board observing, Ingalls’ test and trials team thoroughly tested the ship’s main propulsion, steering, communications suite and deck missions systems. Many tests, including anchor handling, ballasting/de-ballasting the well deck and ventilation systems were performed while at sea.
“The INSURV board had the opportunity to judge the ship’s performance, and because of Ingalls/Navy collective efforts, we received very good ratings,” said Richard Schenk, Ingalls Shipbuilding’s vice president, test and trials. “The expertise displayed by the test and trials and program office team to ensure every exercise and test was achieved within a very short time period was great. We have very devoted folks who diligently prepared San Diego to be ready for these critical sea trials, and they are among the best in the business.”
Shipbuilders will spend the next month putting the final touches on LPD 22 before the amphibious transport dock ship delivers in mid-December.
The LPD 17-class ships are a key element of the Navy’s ability to project power ashore. Collectively they functionally replace more than 41 ships (the LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships), providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable and built to operate with 21st century platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey.
Ingalls has built and delivered the first five ships in the class and, including LPD 22, there are five more currently under construction.
The San Antonio-class ships are 684 feet long and 105 feet wide and displace approximately 25,000 tons. Their principal mission is to deploy the combat and support elements of Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades. The ships can carry up to 800 troops and have the capability of transporting and debarking landing craft air cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing crafts, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft such as the MV-22. These ships will support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Employing nearly 38,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, November 20, 2011; Image: huntingtoningalls