USS Portland

The US Navy has christened its 11th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship the USS Portland (LPD 27) at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The new vessel will be the third US navy ship to be named after Portland, the largest city in Oregon, US.

US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said: "The christening of the future USS Portland brings this great warship one step closer to joining our nation’s growing fleet.

"The skill and dedication of the men and women who brought this ship from an idea to a reality will be remembered for years to come."

"The skill and dedication of the men and women who brought this ship from an idea to a reality, our country’s incomparable shipbuilders, will be remembered for years to come by the sailors and Marines who will serve aboard LPD 27 around the world."

The new San-Antonio-class ships, which are being built under the US Navy’s LPD 17 programme, will replace the existing LST 1179 Newport-class tank landing ships, LKA 113 Charleston-class amphibious cargo ships, the Anchorage-class dock landing ships (LSD 36) and Austin-class ships (LPD 4).

Scheduled to be delivered to the navy next year, the 684ft-long vessel will support embarking, transporting, and landing elements of more than 800 marines.

The USS Portland is equipped with a flight deck to support the operation of CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, andl is fitted with a well deck that can launch and recover landing craft and amphibious vehicles.

The San Antonio-class vessels can be deployed to conduct a range of amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs), or Joint Task Forces (JTFs).

The ships have earlier been deployed to support anti-piracy operations, provide humanitarian assistance, and foreign disaster relief operations around the world.

Image: The US Navy’s San-Antonio-class ship USS Portland christened at HII shipyard. Photo: courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.