The recently-commissioned San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) returned to Naval Base San Diego, July 21, after completing final contract trials (FCT).
The USS John P. Murtha was commissioned in October 2016 in Philadelphia and arrived at her San Diego homeport in November 2016 to commence her post delivery test & trials period. The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey conducts FCT as a final in-depth examination of a newly constructed ship to ensure it meets navy standards and requirements.
“USS John P. Murtha and her crew have proven with every test that she is capable and ready for deployment,” said Capt. Brian Metcalf, LPD 17 class program manager. “LPD 26 is the 10th ship in the San Antonio class to join the fleet. With this ship, the U.S. Navy gains another versatile platform that will be utilized in a variety of missions.”
The FCT tests and trials were demonstrated over a five-day period and consisted of both in-port and at-sea evaluations. During the at-sea phase, the crew demonstrated full power runs, self-defense detect-to-engage exercises, evaluations of key combat and communications systems, rapid ballast/de-ballast operations, steering checks, and anchor handling demonstrations to certify the readiness of all systems for operational tasking.
LPD 17 class amphibious transport dock ships transport and deploy the necessary combat and support elements of Marine expeditionary units and brigades. The ship will carry troops and have the capability to transport and debark air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (MV-22).
Two additional San Antonio-class ships, Portland (LPD 27) and Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28), are currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Navy awarded a contract to HII for long lead time material and advance procurement in support of LPD 29 in June 2017.