The US Navy has announced the launch of USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship.

The 12th vessel of its class, USS Fort Lauderdale was built at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls Division shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The ship was moved from the land level facility to the dry dock earlier this month for its launch.

Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships LPD 17 class programme manager captain Scot Searles said: “I am thrilled to get Fort Lauderdale in the water, so we can begin final outfitting and eventually take the ship out to sea for trials.

“The San Antonio class has proven essential to expeditionary warfighters, and we are eager to deliver another ship to the fleet.”

Construction of the LPD 28 began in 2017. The 208.5m-long ship is equipped with missile launchers, as well as 30mm and .50 calibre machine guns.

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It can carry a detachment of up to 800 personnel. USS Fort Lauderdale is expected to be commissioned in 2022.

The San Antonio-class ships are used to transport marines, as well as landing craft or air cushion vehicles. These ships are designed to carry out amphibious assault, special operations, and expeditionary warfare missions independently or in a group.

These vessels also feature a flight deck and hangar to accommodate CH 46 Sea Knight helicopters and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22).

Ingalls Shipbuilding is also currently building the future USS Richard M McCool (LPD 29) and Harrisburg (LPD 30).

Once complete, LPD 28 and LPD 29 will serve as transition ships to LPD 30.