The US Navy is scheduled to commission the seventh San Antonio-Class amphibious transport dock ship, USS Anchorage (LPD 23), during a ceremony on 4 May in Alaska, US.
US Navy secretary Ray Mabus said that the USS Anchorage would provide defence capabilities for the US Navy over the next several decades.
"As we execute our nation's defense strategy and our Marine Corps returns to its traditional maritime roots, the improved warfighting capability Anchorage brings to the fleet will be critical," Mabus said.
Capable of accommodating a landing force of up to 800 marines, the 24,900t USS Anchorage provides improved combat capabilities, which include an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features.
The LPD 17-class ships will significantly replace the ageing LST 1179 Newport-class tank landing ships, LKA 113 Charleston-class amphibious cargo ships and Anchorage-class dock landing ships (LSD 36), as well as Austin-class ships (LPD 4).
Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), the LPD-23 ship can transport air cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing crafts, as well as support amphibious assault, special operations and expeditionary warfare missions.
Powered by four Colt-Pielstick 2.5 STC diesel engines, the 684ft-long vessel is armed with Mk2 ship self-defence system (SSDS), Mk46 mod 2 30mm guns for close-in surface self-defence and Mk26 mod 18 .50-calibre machine guns.
The ships' flight deck can accommodate 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.
The US Navy has taken delivery of USS Anchorage from HII in September 2012 following completion of sea acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico in 2012.
Image: USS Anchorage (LPD 23) undergoing builder's sea trials. Photo: courtesy of US Navy and Huntington Ingalls Industries/Released.