Huntington Ingalls Industries has been awarded a US Navy contract for the construction of the tenth San Antonio Class amphibious transport dock, John P Murtha (LPD 26).

The $1.5bn contract will be used to build the ship, with construction expected to start in May this year.

The 684ft-long San Antonio Class ships have a displacement capacity of 25,000t and can carry 800 troops along with the capability of transporting and debarking air cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft.

The ships will primarily be used to deploy the combat and support elements of Mmrine expeditionary units and brigades, and will support amphibious assault and expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.

The US Navy awarded a contract for the construction of 11 San Antonio Class ships, of which, the first five have been delivered and the rest are at various stages of completion.

The 11 ships will functionally replace more than 41 ships providing the navy and marine corps with modern, sea-based platforms.