The keel for the future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) was authenticated during a ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), October 13.
Keel laying is the traditional start of ship construction. In the age of wooden ships, «keel laying» referred to the laying down of the piece of timber serving as the backbone of the ship or keel. Although modern manufacturing techniques allow fabrication of portions of a ship to begin many months earlier, the joining together of modules is considered the formal beginning of a ship.
The keel was authenticated to be «truly and fairly laid» by the ship’s sponsor, Meredith Berger, former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the U.S. Navy who previously served as a senior policy advisor within the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Florida.
«I’m very honored to have Ms. Berger here today to take part in this event», said Captain Brian Metcalf, LPD-17 class program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «Authentication of the ship’s keel is a major ship event and we’re looking forward to leveraging the experience and expertise of the Ingalls Shipbuilding team to achieve future production milestones».
San Antonio-class ships are designed to support embarking, transporting, and landing elements of over 800 Marines by landing craft, air cushion vehicles, helicopters, or MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. These ships support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of amphibious readiness groups, expeditionary strike groups, or joint task forces. The versatility of these ships also allows support of humanitarian efforts; USS New York (LPD-21), a sister ship, is currently underway from Mayport, Florida, offering support in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
LPD-28 is named in honor of the Florida city and will be the first U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name and will be the Navy’s 12th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. The future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) is planned for delivery in 2021. Eleven LPD-17 ships have been delivered, the most recent being USS Portland (LPD-27), which was delivered September 18, 2017. HII is also procuring long lead time material and advance procurement in support of LPD-29.
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 boats and craft.
|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 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||10-08-2016||San Diego, California|
|USS Portland (LPD-27)||Ingalls||02-13-2016|
|USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28)||Ingalls|