Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has been awarded a $1.5bn fixed-price incentive contract by the US Navy for the detail design and construction of the 11th and final San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship LPD 27.
LPD programme vice president Doug Lounsberry said the investment in survivability was vital to protect the troops and their equipment, as well as to ensure their ability to fight and win on the battlefield.
"These ships are vital to our nation's defence, and we are working safely and efficiently to ensure American sailors and marines have the best product to defend our freedom," Lounsberry added.
The 684ft-long, 105ft-wide LPD will have a displacement capacity of 24,900t, can accommodate 800 troops and provide combat support for the US Navy and US Marine Corps.
The survivable and flexible San Antonio-class ship will be able to carry two Sikorsky CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters, six Bell AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters, four Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters or two Boeing Bell MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft on its flight deck.
Additional features of the frigate include enhanced fighting capabilities, such as advanced command-and-control suite, and increased lift-capabilities for carrying vehicles cargo.
Designed to support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century, the vessel will also help transport combat and support elements of marine expeditionary units and brigades.
The US Navy is seeking a total of 11 ships under the LPD 17 programme to replace its ageing LST 1179 Newport-class tank landing ships, LKA 113 Charleston-class amphibious cargo ships, Anchorage-class dock landing ships (LSD 36) as well as Austin-class ships (LPD 4).
Work on the ship will be carried out at the company's Ingalls Shipbuilding facility.
Image: The US Navy's amphibious transport dock Anchorage (LPD 23) undergoing builder's sea trials. Photo: courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries.