The US Navy has taken delivery of the tenth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, John P Murtha (LPD 26), built by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).

The new vessel is a part of the contract awarded to HII to construct 11 San Antonio-class ships to functionally replace more than 41 ships, providing the US Navy and Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms.

HII programme management vide-president Richard Schenk said: "John P Murtha is the culmination of four years of tireless efforts on the part of thousands of our shipyard employees and our navy partner.

"John P Murtha is the culmination of four years of tireless efforts on the part of thousands of our shipyard employees and our navy partner."

"I could not be more proud of all of those involved, and they are showing that serial production pays dividends when it comes to providing affordable ships to our nation."

Named after the late John P Murtha, who represented Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District from 1974 to 2010, the 684ft-long San Antonio-class ship has a displacement capacity of 25,000t.

It has a capacity of more than 23,000ft² of vehicle storage, and is capable of transporting a landing force of up to 800 marines and their equipment.

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The vessel is equipped with a flight deck and hangar, which can operate CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22). It is fitted with a well deck capable of embarking and debarking landing crafts, an air cushion, and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), to ferry marines ashore.

The landing platform / dokcs (LPDs) are intended to serve as a key element of the navy’s sea base transformation and are being developed to enable deployment of the combat and support elements of marine expeditionary units and brigades.

USS Portland (LPD 27) is the final of the 11 San-Antonio class ships, whose keel was laid in August 2013 and is currently under construction at HII.

Image: HII delivers tenth San-Antonio class ship to US Navy. Photo: courtesy of Lance Davis/HII