Murtha’s Sea Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on March 7 the successful sea trials of the company’s 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26). The ship, built at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division, spent four days in the Gulf of Mexico last week with Ingalls’ test and trials team operating the ship and performing more than 200 test events.

Ingalls Shipbuilding’s 10th amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) sails the Gulf of Mexico for Builder’s Trial (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
Ingalls Shipbuilding’s 10th amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) sails the Gulf of Mexico for Builder’s Trial (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«Overall the builder’s trial was successful, and the ship performed well», said Kari Wilkinson, Ingalls’ LPD-26 program manager. «This shipbuilding milestone is another accomplishment for a seasoned LPD production and test team that is ready to continue the learning on future LPD platforms. This team understands the important mission LPDs provide to our nation, and we look forward to delivering another fine, much-needed asset to our sailors and Marines».

Major evolutions during builder’s trials include the anchor-handling demonstration, ballast/deballast demonstration, detect-to-engage exercise, running the ship at full power and steering.

Shipbuilders will now prepare USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) for acceptance trials in April to demonstrate the same tests and operational success to the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in the second quarter of 2016.

«LPD-26 experienced an excellent builders trials», said George S. Jones, Ingalls’ vice president of operations. «This is another fine testament to the dedicated men and women of Ingalls shipbuilding and their shipbuilding talents. The USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is a quality ship, and the ability to deliver her on schedule later this year is a result of great craftsmen and the outstanding Navy partnership we have with the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast».

LPD-26 is named in honor of the late John P. Murtha, who represented Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District from 1974 to 2010. In addition to his tenured history in the House of Representatives, Murtha was also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and Reserves. He served for 37 years and received the Bronze Star with Combat «V», two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service in the Vietnam War. He retired as a colonel in 1990.

Ingalls has built and delivered nine ships in the San Antonio-class. In addition to USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26), Ingalls has the 11th LPD, USS Portland (LPD-27), under construction. USS Portland (LPD-27) launched on February 13 and will be christened on May 21. Ingalls received a $200 million advance procurement contract for the 12th ship in the class, LPD-28, in December 2015.

The San Antonio-class is the latest addition to the U.S. Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long/208-meter-long, 105-foot-wide/32-meter-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.

Ingalls Shipbuilding conducted Builder Sea Trials for USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) in the Gulf of Mexico

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries
Propulsion Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, two shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower
Length 684 feet/208 m
Beam 105 feet/32 m
Displacement Approximately 24,900 long tons (25,300 metric tons) full load
Draft 23 feet/7 m
Speed In excess of 22 knots/24.2 mph/38.7 km/h
Crew Ship’s Company: 374 Sailors (28 officers, 346 enlisted) and 3 Marines. Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800
Armament Two Bushmaster II 30-mm Close in Guns, fore and aft; two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, fore and aft: ten .50 calibre/12.7-mm machine guns
Aircraft Launch or land two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft or up to four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, AH-1 or UH-1 helicopters
Landing/Attack Craft Two LCACs or one LCU; and 14 Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles/Amphibious Assault Vehicles
USS Portland (LPD-27) is seen here in the middle of launch early Saturday morning at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Portland is the 11th San Antonio-class landing platform dock (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)
USS Portland (LPD-27) is seen here in the middle of launch early Saturday morning at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Portland is the 11th San Antonio-class landing platform dock (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)

 

San Antonio-class

Ship Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS San Antonio (LPD-17) Avondale 07-12-2003 01-14-2006 Norfolk, Virginia
USS New Orleans (LPD-18) Avondale 12-11-2004 03-10-2007 San Diego, California
USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) Ingalls 11-19-2004 12-15-2007 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Green Bay (LPD-20) Avondale 08-11-2006 01-24-2009 San Diego, California
USS New York (LPD-21) Avondale 12-19-2007 11-07-2009 Norfolk, Virginia
USS San Diego (LPD-22) Ingalls 05-07-2010 05-19-2012 San Diego, California
USS Anchorage (LPD-23) Avondale 02-12-2011 05-04-2013 San Diego, California
USS Arlington (LPD-24) Ingalls 11-23-2010 02-08-2013 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Somerset (LPD-25) Avondale 04-14-2012 05-01-2014 San Diego, California
USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) Ingalls 11-02-2014 San Diego, California
USS Portland (LPD-27) Ingalls 02-13-2016
USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) Ingalls

 

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