The future USS San Diego (LPD 22) departed Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard, March 15, “sailing away” from the building yard manned for the first time by the ship’s crew. This milestone marks the end of production for LPD 22, the sixth ship of the San Antonio Class of amphibious transport dock ships.
San Diego will transit to her homeport of San Diego, Calif., in advance of the ship’s commissioning ceremony May 19.
“Sail away is an important milestone for any ship,” said Jay Stefany, LPD 17 class program manager for the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “San Diego is now on its way to join the Fleet where the ship will provide critical amphibious lift capability for Marines and their vehicles and cargo.”
Once commissioned, San Diego and its crew will begin a succession of sea trials to thoroughly test the ship’s systems and to complete crucial certifications. The ship will conduct missile and gun Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials as well as exercising the ship’s comprehensive detect-to-engage capability. Well deck certification and underway replenishment qualification will also be part of the steady progression toward deployment.
The next major shipbuilding milestones for the class will be the sea trials and delivery of Anchorage (LPD 23) and Arlington (LPD 24), the launch of Somerset (LPD 25) and the keel authentication ceremony for the John P. Murtha (LPD 26), all of which are scheduled to occur in 2012.
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 special warfare craft. Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to delivering ships on cost and schedule.
Source: navsea, March 16, 2012; Image: navy