The US Navy's San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) has successfully completed its Final Contract Trials (FCT).

LPD 26 was commissioned in Philadelphia in October last year, and arrived at her San Diego base in November in order to begin her post-delivery test and trials period.

The US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey carries out FCT as a final in-depth examination of a newly built vessel to ensure that it has been correctly designed to meet the navy’s requirements.

Programme Executive Office (PEO) Ships LPD 17 class programme manager captain Brian Metcalf said: “USS John P. Murtha and her crew have proven with every test that she is capable and ready for deployment.

“LPD 26 is the tenth ship in the San Antonio class to join the fleet.

"With this ship, the US Navy gains another versatile platform that will be utilised in a variety of missions.”

"USS John P. Murtha and her crew have proven with every test that she is capable and ready for deployment."

The FCT tests and trials on USS John P. Murtha were carried out for a period of five days, and consisted of in-port and sea-based evaluations.

The sea trials saw the ship's crew demonstrate full power runs, self-defence detect-to-engage exercises, and assessments of key combat and communications systems.

Rapid ballast and de-ballast operations, steering checks and anchor handling demonstrations were also conducted to ensure the readiness of all LPD 26's systems.

The US Navy’s two additional San Antonio-class vessels, Portland (LPD 27) and Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28), are currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Image: USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) arrives to its new homeport Naval Base San Diego. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy by Seaman Lucas T. Hans / Released.