The Navy recently accepted delivery of both the future USS Ft. Lauderdale (LPD-28)

San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship and the future USS Montana (SSN-794) Virginia-class attack submarine, the service said on March 14.

LPD-28 is the 12th San Antonio-class vessel and features improvements to the class design as a transitional ship before the Flight II San Antonio-class ships are made. Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding Divisions [HII] handed over the ship on March 11.

The Navy noted LPD-28 underwent a successful series of at-sea and pier-side trials that demonstrated its material and operational readiness. In October, LPD-28 finished builder sea trials (Defense Daily, Oct. 27, 2021).

The ship was first launched in 2020 and had its keel laid in 2017 (Defense Daily, April 3, 2020).

The San Antonio-class aims to support embarking, transporting and landing Marines and their equipment by both conventional or air-cushioned landing craft. It also features a flight deck and hangar that allows the ship to operate various Marine Corps helicopters and the MV-22 Osprey tolt-rotor aircraft. The ships are used for various missions including amphibious assault, special operations, expeditionary warfare, and disaster relief.

The Flight II LPDs that come after LPD-29 will replace the 12 aging Whidbey Island/Harpers Ferry-class (LCD-41/49) amphibious ships, have improved troop armory and weapons stowage, and support new equipment like the Textron [TXT] Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC).

The Virginia-class attack submarine Montana (SSN-794) has successfully undergoing initial sea trials with shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries News Shipbuilding division near Norfolk, Va. (Photo: HII)
The Virginia-class attack submarine Montana (SSN-794) undergoing initial sea trials with shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries News Shipbuilding division near Norfolk, Va. (Photo: HII)

“Following successful builder’s and acceptance trials, LPD-28 will soon be ready  to join the fleet to provide critical readiness and capacity to our Sailors. This ship will help expand our advantage in the maritime domain and brings critical capability now and in the future,” Capt. Cedric McNeal, program manager for the Amphibious Warfare Program Office at Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships, said in a statement.

HII is also in production on the future USS Richard S. McCool (LPD-29) and Harrisburg (LPD-30) and is expected to start fabrication on the future Pittsburgh (LPD-31) later this spring.

Separately, HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics’ Electric Boat [GD] co-produced SSN-794 and delivered it to the Navy on March 12.

The Montana is the 21st Virginia-class submarine and the third in the Block IV configuration. 

GD and HII jointly build the Virginia-class submarines, with each company building certain parts of each boat and they take turns building the reactors and performing final assembly for each vessel. The Navy said SSN-794 is the 10th Virginia-class submarine delivered by HII under this arrangement.

“The delivery of this ship reflects an enormous effort across the Navy and Industry shipbuilding teams. This is an exciting time for the program, Montana’s crew and the Navy,” Capt. Todd Weeks, the Virginia-class program manager, said in a statement.

“This is the second Virginia-class submarine to deliver in less than a month and it is in excellent condition. Continued deliveries of attack submarines are critical to the Fleet and our National Maritime Strategy,” he added.

Weeks was referring to the delivery of the future USS Oregon (SSN-793), the 20th Virginia-class vessel,  late last month (Defense Daily, March 1).