America’s largest shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls (HII), has announced the successful completion of sea trials for amphibious transport ship builder Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).
As noted by the company, the San Antonio-class vessel underwent rigorous testing in the Gulf of Mexico, evaluating all systems in preparation for the final stages before its planned delivery in the spring.
Davianne Stokes, ship program manager for Ingalls Shipbuilding, emphasized the shipbuilders’ dedication to ensuring the timely progression of LPD 29 toward deployment to the Navy and Marine Corps.
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According to a press release, Ingalls Shipbuilding has a rich history of delivering San Antonio-class ships, with 12 vessels already completed and three LPDs currently under construction. These include LPD 29, Harrisburg (LPD 30), the inaugural LPD of Flight II, and Pittsburgh (LPD 31). The LPD Flight II program represents the next generation of amphibious ships, which will replace the aging Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) landing ship classes.
In a significant development, in March 2023, Ingalls secured a $1.3 billion modification to a contract previously awarded by the U.S. Navy for the design and construction of LPD 32, named Philadelphia. This vessel will be the sixteenth addition to the San Antonio class and the third LPD Flight II variant.
Amphibious transport port ships like the LPD 29 play a vital role in the Navy’s modern expeditionary force. They are deployed alongside the US Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Forces for a variety of operations, from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief missions, demonstrating the versatility and readiness of America’s naval capabilities.