Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding has held a keel laying for the US Navy’s first Flight II San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship.

Named as the future USS Harrisburg, the LPD 30 is also the Navy’s 14th San Antonio class vessel.

It has been named after the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and is the second US Navy ship to bear the name.

Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships Amphibious Warfare Program Office programme manager Cedric McNeal said: “LPD 30 marks the beginning of the LPD Flight II builds and the continuation of the superb capability that the San Antonio Class platform has brought to the Navy Marine Corps team.

“With its flexibility and adaptability, LPD Flight II ships are essential to projecting power and delivering the combat capability needed to shape the future fleet.”

The LPD Flight II is the replacement for the ageing Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) dock landing ships.

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In 2019, HII won a $1.47bn contract for the design and construction of the ship. The company cut the first 100t of steel in April 2020.

The 684ft-long ship will have a beam length of 105ft and be able to achieve speeds of more than 22k.

The San Antonio-class will be deployed to embark on and land Marines, as well as their equipment and supplies.

Currently, the Navy’s future USS Richard S. McCool (LPD 29) and the future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 29) are in production stage with HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding.