PASCAGOULA — Huntington Ingalls Industries has begun construction on the amphibious transport dock LPD 27. The ship, being built at the company’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division, is the 11th ship in the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) class of ships.
On July 27 Ingalls was awarded a $1.5 billion contract to build LPD 27. The start of fabrication milestone marks the first 100 tons of steel being cut for units on the LPD 27. The next major event is keel laying, currently scheduled for second quarter of 2013, and delivery of LPD 27 is scheduled for mid-2017.
Six of LPD 27’s sister ships, LPDs 17-22, have been delivered to the Navy while LPDs 23-26 are in various stages of construction. Somerset (LPD 25) was recently christened at Avondale.
Ingalls is building the entire San Antonio class of ships, the newest addition to the Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The LPD 17-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 air cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing crafts, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft such as the MV-22. The ships will support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.