PASCAGOULA, Miss. -- The Navy accepted delivery of the eighth LPD 17 class amphibious transport dock ship, the future USS Arlington (LPD 24), from Huntington Ingalls Industries Dec. 7. Accepting delivery of Arlington represents the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder to the Navy and is a major milestone in the ship's transition to operational status.
"This is the third San Antonio class ship to be delivered to the Navy within the last 12 months," said Capt. Darren Plath, LPD 17 class program manager for the Navy's Program Executive Office for Ships. "It illustrates the significant efforts and teamwork of the shipbuilder and Navy team and provides the Fleet with three vital war-fighting assets in a one-year period."
San Antonio class ships are a key element of the Navy's seabase transformation. Functionally replacing more than 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113, and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships), these ships provide the Navy and Marine Corps with modern platforms that are networked and survivable. Their principal mission is to deploy the combat and support elements of Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades, projecting power ashore through the high speed landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22).
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, 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; and the Shipboard Wide Area Network, a fiber-optic, ship-wide area computer network that includes both classified and unclassified components.
The ship is named for the county of Arlington, Va., honoring the first responders and the 184 victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Steel recovered from the Pentagon will be displayed onboard once the ship is commissioned, which is planned for next spring in its homeport of Norfolk, Va.
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.