Northrop has successfully launched the company’s newest amphibious transport dock ship, Arlington (LPD 24), the eighth ship of the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) Class at the Gulf Coast facilities.

LPD 24 is currently 77% complete and includes upgrades from previous LPDs including a new water purification system and a new operating system for the ship’s computing environment.

Arlington is one of three ships built by Northrop in honour of the heroes and victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

The ship’s christening has been tentatively scheduled for spring of 2011.

The 684ft-long LPD 17 Class ships are 105ft wide and have a displacement capacity of 25,000t and can accomodate 800 troops.

LPDs provide the navy and marine corps with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable and built to operate with platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey and the expeditionary fighting vehicle (EFV).