PASCAGOULA, Miss. - The Navy accepted the delivery of its newest amphibious transport dock ship, the future USS San Diego (LPD 22) from Huntington Ingalls Industries, Dec. 19.
San Diego, the sixth ship in the LPD 17 San Antonio class, successfully completed acceptance trials in November, receiving some of the highest grades in the class and completing all in-port and at-sea demonstrations.
"I'm very proud to take delivery of this vital warfighting asset for the Fleet," said Jay Stefany, the LPD 17 class program manager for the Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "San Diego has performed very well in her testing and trials, and is the most complete ship of the class delivered to date."
San Diego is the first LPD 17 class ship to be constructed using the Class Build Plan that leverages lessons learned from the design and construction of LPDs 17-21. LPD 22 also benefited from enhanced onsite quality oversight processes by both the shipbuilder and Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding. The ship had the most extensive pre-delivery test program of the previous five LPDs delivered and has already conducted three underway trials, with scope beyond what was tested underway on previous ships.
"I am confident that we are delivering an extremely capable and reliable ship to the Fleet," said Rear Admiral David Lewis, Program Executive Officer, Ships. "The quality of this ship is a testament to the performance of our shipbuilding team."
Accepting delivery of LPD 22 represents the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy and is a major milestone in San Diego's transition to operational status. Following crew move aboard early next year, the ship will transit to its namesake city. The commissioning ceremony is planned for May 2012.
The ships of the LPD 17 class are a key element of the Navy's seabase transformation. These ships functionally replace over 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113, and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, seabased platforms that are networked, survivable, and built to operate with 21st century transformational platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey.
The principal mission of LPD 17 San Antonio class ships is to deploy the combat and support elements of Marine expeditionary units and brigades. The ship can carry up to 800 troops and has the capability of transporting and debarking Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft (MV-22). These ships will support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st Century.
The LPD 17 class combines various unique systems with special emphasis on projecting combat power ashore, quality of life improvements for Sailors and Marines and mission flexibility. Among the ships' innovations are state-of-the-art combat control and electronics systems; the Ship Self Defense System (SSDS), which provides the key integration and control portion of the ship's total combat system, including sensors, weapons, data links and the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC); and the Shipboard Wide Area Network (SWAN) which is a fiber-optic ship wide area computer network including both classified and unclassified components.
As one of the Department of Defense'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. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets - while balancing affordability and capability - is key to supporting the Navy's maritime strategy.