Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has held the naming ceremony of the US Navy’s newest landing platform/dock (LPD) 28 at its shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The 12th San Antonio-class amphibious transport ship was christened as Fort Lauderdale by its sponsor Meredith Berger. It is the first navy vessel to bear the name of the Florida city.

The division supplied 12 San Antonio-class ships to the US Navy, with two additional ships currently under construction. They include Richard M McCool Jr (LPD 29) and Harrisburg (LPD 30).

Berger said: “We are finally here together to celebrate the christening of the USS Fort Lauderdale. In these times, together doesn’t quite look like what it used to.

“Some of us are here at Ingalls, some are watching remotely from home, but we are all together in spirit. Through our ties to this ship, we strengthen the relationship between the military and the nation.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, the christening ceremony was livestreamed and conducted with very limited attendance.

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The 684ft-long San Antonio-class ships are designed to support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions.

They are capable of operating independently or as part of amphibious readiness groups, expeditionary strike groups, or joint task forces.

In March last year, the US Navy announced the launch of USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28).

In October 2017, LPD 28 underwent a keel laying ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) yard.

Fort Lauderdale mayor Dean Trantalis said: “Fort Lauderdale has had a close, long connection to the armed services.

“The people of today who serve in our military, especially in the navy, have come to understand and appreciate the city of Fort Lauderdale.”