The Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] Ingalls Shipbuilding-built latest Amphibious Transport Dock, the future USS Portland (LPD-27), completed acceptance trials on Aug 18, the Navy and company announced Monday.

Acceptance trials are conducted with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) to demonstrate the ship’s readiness for delivery. This comprised a set of over 200 underway and dock-side evaluations and tests, including tests of main propulsion engineering and ship control systems, combat and communications systems, damage control, food service, and crew support.

The future USS Portland (LPD-27), sails in the Gulf of Mexico during acceptance sea trials. (Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries)
The future USS Portland (LPD-27), sails in the Gulf of Mexico during acceptance sea trials. (Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries)

LPD-27 is the 11th San Antonio-class Amphibious Transport Dock to be presented to INSURV. The trials had the Portland complete a full power run, steering checks, quick reversal, boat handling, anchoring, and ballast demonstrations in the Gulf of Mexico. Following the trials, the ship sailed back to the HII shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.

The Portland completed the first major test in the builder’s trials last month, for the first test of the ship’s operational readiness (Defense Daily, July 7).

San Antonio-class ships are used to embark and land Marines, their equipment, and supplies ashore through air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles. They can also accommodate vertical takeoff and landing aircraft like helicopters and the MV-22 Osprey.  

“The material condition of the ship is fantastic, and the success she had during acceptance trials is a true testament to the men and women that built her,” Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, said in a statement.

Moore embarked on LPD-27 for its first day underway at sea where he observed several demonstrations and visited with government and shipyard workers.

“We get better with every LPD we build, and we look forward to delivering a very complex and capable ship to our sailors and Marines,” George Jones, Ingalls’ vice president of operations, said.

HII shipbuilders plan to put final touches on the ship before a planned delivery to the Navy later this fall. The Portland is set to be commissioned in the spring of 2018 at its namesake city of Portland, Ore.

“The success of these trials reflects a continuing trend of delivering highly capable ships to the fleet. Completing this milestone is another significant step in Portland’s progression toward joining her ten sister ships,” Capt. Brian Metcalf, LPD 17 class program manager for Program Executive Office Ships, said.

Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias agreed on the importance of this step.

“The success of these milestones is important as we continue to remain competitive and keep our supplier base and production lines active in the construction of these quality amphibious warships,” he said in a statement.

HII plans to lay the keel for the 12th San Antonio-class LPD, the future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) this fall. The Navy awarded HII the contract for LPD-28 last year (Defense Daily, Dec. 19, 2016).