The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] a $1.4 billion fixed-price-incentive modification for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (LPD)-29 on Feb. 16.

Work on this 13th LPD will largely occur in HII’s Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard and is expected to be finished by July 2023. The Navy expects LPD-29 to be delivered the same year.

Artist's rendering of the LPD-29 San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. (Image: Huntington Ingalls Industries)
Artist’s rendering of the LPD-29 San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. (Image: Huntington Ingalls Industries)

The majority of the funds, $1.2 billion, is obligated at award time and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

“This contract is further recognition of the confidence the Navy/Marine Corps team has in the great work our shipbuilders are doing in the LPD program. This efficient work is proven through our hot production line keeping the work going in the shipyard and through our nationwide network of suppliers,” HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brain Cuccis said in a statement.

San Antonio-class ships embark and land Marines, their equipment, and supplies ashore using conventional landing craft or air cushion and amphibious assault vehicles as well as helicopters and other vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

They can support a Marine Air Ground Task Force across various operations, help conduct amphibious and expeditionary missions of power projection, and provide humanitarian assistance.

HII has thus far built and delivered 11 San Antonio-class ships, with the 11th, the future USS Portland (LPD-27), set to be commissioned n April 21 in Portland, Ore. The 12th, the Fort Lauderdale, is currently under construction and expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2020.

The Portland is scheduled to test a new laser weapon demonstrator as early as this fall and will serve as the flagship in the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, the Navy said last month (Defense Daily, Jan. 10).

The company said preliminary work has already started on LPD-29 and it plans to begin fabrication later in 2018.

Congress and the Navy added LPD-28 and LPD-29 to the HII production line to bridge the San Antonio-class LPD and the LX(R) replacement vessels. Those ships are expected to feature many new capabilities that will be incorporated on to the LX(R), so it acts as an evolutionary advancement (Defense Daily, Oct. 27, 2017).