Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (NYSE:HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Mississippi has launched the company’s 10th amphibious transport dock, John P. Murtha (LPD 26)
“This ship is tracking to be one of our best LPDs ever, and it is the most complete ship at launch to date,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “We are incorporating learning from each ship to improve our performance in both cost and schedule. Our hot production line in LPD construction provides efficiencies in day-to-day work efforts and helps stabilize the program and the associated supplier base.”
As has been done for all Ingalls-built ships over the past 40 years, shipbuilders moved LPD 26 on rail cars from land to the company’s floating drydock on Oct. 19. Work took place last week to prepare the ship for today’s launch.
“Our shipbuilders are becoming more and more proficient in building these ships, and they are committed to being the best at what they do,” said Kari Wilkinson, LPD 26 program manager. “We have a strong build plan in place, and we continue to implement construction improvements across the class to create an affordable platform. It is a blueprint we can follow in future ship classes as well.”
Ingalls has built and delivered nine ships in the San Antonio class of ships, with LPDs 26 and 27 remaining. LPD 27, named Portland, is scheduled to launch in 2016.
The San Antonio class is the latest addition to the Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long, 105-foot-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, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey. The ships support a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the spectrum of operations, conducting amphibious and expeditionary missions of sea control and power projection to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions throughout the first half of the 21st century.