The tenth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock was christened on March 21, 2015. The ceremony took place at the Huntington Ingalls Industries’ shipbuilding division visitor control center. In honor of the representative of Pennsylvania’s twelfth congressional district who served from 1974 to 2010, LPD-26 was christened John P. Murtha. Murtha served as a Marine for 37 years. During his time, Murtha earned the Bronze Star with Valor Device, two Purple Hearts, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. LPD-26 is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in 2016. The keel was laid for the final ship, USS Portland (LPD-27) in August 2013 and is currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries.
The versatile San Antonio-class LPDS transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked Landing Craft Air Cushion or conventional landing craft. Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles or Amphibious Assault Vehicles augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft can also be transported and launched from these LPDs. They can also be used as a secondary aviation platform for amphibious ready groups. The 11 San Antonio-class ships will functionally replace more than 41 ships and provide a modern, sea-based platform. Each San Antonia LPD can carry as many as 800 Marines and their gear. Each vessel will cost approximately $1.5 billion. The ship is 684 feet long and has a displacement capacity of 25,000 tons and more than 23,000 square feet of vehicle storage. The ships are powered by four Colt-Pielstick 2.5 STC diesel engines that develop 10,400-hp each. A new high-power “low-drag” propeller hob was designed for the ship and provides improved propeller efficiency.
The USS New York (LPD-21) was the first of three San Antonio-class ships to be built in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. New York was built using 24 tons of steel that had been salvaged from the World Trade Center. USS Arlington and USS Somerset were named in honor of the victims of the attacks on the Pentagon and United Flight 93. Materials from those sites were also incorporated into the design.
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