Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) started fabrication of the 13th LPD-17 San Antonio class ship, USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD-29), July 30, at its shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The start of fabrication signifies that the first 100 tons of steel have been cut.
«We are excited to commence fabrication on the 13th and final ship of the LPD-17 Flight I class», said Captain Brian Metcalf, LPD-17 class program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «We continue to benefit from the maturity of this program and look forward to achieving future production milestones as we work to deliver this versatile and capable warship to the fleet».
LPD-29 is named in honor of Navy veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, Captain Richard M. McCool, Jr., and will be the first vessel to bear the name. McCool served in defense of the nation for 30 years, spanning three wars. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945 for heroism, after his ship was attacked by kamikaze aircraft and he led efforts to save the ship and rescue injured Sailors.
The principal mission of LPD-17 San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ships is to transport and deploy the necessary combat and support elements of Marine expeditionary units and brigades. The ship will carry approximately 720 troops, have the capability of transporting and debarking air cushion or amphibious assault vehicles, and accommodate virtually every size of Marine Corps helicopter and its tilt-rotor MV-22 Ospreys. These ships will support amphibious assault, special operations and expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.
The U.S. Navy awarded the detail design and construction contract for USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD-29) to HII on February 16, 2018. Eleven San Antonio class ships have been delivered, the most recent being USS Portland (LPD-27), which was commissioned April 21, 2018. USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) and USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD-29) will serve as transition ships to LPD-30, the first ship of the LPD-17 Flight II class. LPD Flight II class ships will be the replacement for the U.S. Navy’s aging LSD-41/49 class ships.
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 special warfare craft. Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to delivering ships on cost and schedule.
|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||12-14-2017||San Diego, California|
|USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28)||Ingalls|
|USS Richard M. McCool (LPD-29)||Ingalls|