US Navy's Anchorage

The US Navy’s San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, Anchorage (LPD 23), has successfully completed builder’s sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ingalls LPD 17 programme vice president and program manager Doug Lounsberry said: "The ship demonstrated its quality through operational testing over the past four days, including propulsion, steering, navigation, communications and weapons."

Jointly conducted by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and the Navy team, the four-day trials included more than 200 demonstrations, during which the ship’s systems were tested and validated.

During the trials, the ship validated its anchor handling, flight operations, ballasting and de-ballasting the well deck, and compartment air balancing.

Anchorage is scheduled to undergo acceptance trials, during which the team will conduct similar tests to demonstrate the ship’s seaworthiness to the US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), prior to its delivery to the Navy in 2012.

The transport dock ship is currently being constructed by HII at its Avondale Shipyard, Louisiana, US, which will serve as an element of future expeditionary strike groups.

The 684ft-long, 24,900t ship is powered by four turbo-charged diesel engines to cruise at a speed of 22k and can accommodate a landing force of 800 troops.

Featuring an advanced command-and-control suite and enhanced survivability capabilities, the ship will provide increased vehicle lift-capability and cargo-carrying capacity in addition to improved warfighting capabilities.

The ship will also support US Marine Corps ship-to-shore mobility consisting of a landing craft air cushion vehicle, amphibious assault vehicles and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

HII has built and delivered the first six of ten San Antonio-class ships to date, with the remaining four currently undergoing construction, including LPD 23.

Image: US Navy’s Anchorage undergoing builder’s sea trials at Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries.