US Navy accepts delivery of USS Somerset from Huntington Ingalls

USS Somerset (LPD 25) is the ninth San Antonio-class LPD that HII has delivered to the US Navy. Two more are under construction for a total of 11 ships in the class, although 12 were originally planned (1 cancelled due to budget cuts & cost overruns). A follow-on class, possibly a San Antonio Flight II, or possibly an LSD(X) replacement based on a San Antonio hull, is planned… exact spec pending.

Huntington Ingalls delivers Avondale-built Somerset to U.S. Navy

The USS Somerset, which was christened in July, was delivered to the U.S. Navy today. It was build at the Avondale, La., facility of Huntington Ingalls Industries. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

AVONDALE, Louisiana — Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has delivered the amphibious transport dock Somerset (LPD 25) to the U.S. Navy.

The DD 250 document officially signifying custody transfer of the ship was signed by officials on the ship at the company’s Avondale facility.

Somerset is the ninth ship in the San Antonio (LPD 17) class of ships Ingalls has delivered to the Navy.

“We are very pleased to deliver this ship to our Navy customer,” said Mike Duthu, director of Ingalls’ LPD 17 program. “With each successive LPD, we apply lessons learned that result in ship-over-ship improvements in quality, efficiency and affordability. With Somerset, the Navy is getting another very capable and adaptable amphibious warship designed and built to enable sailors and Marines to accomplish their missions.”

The ship successfully completed builder’s trials in August and U.S. Navy acceptance trials in September. Ingalls has two more under construction at its Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard. John P. Murtha (LPD 26) is slated for completion in 2016, and Portland (LPD 27) will complete in 2017.

Somerset is named to honor the courage of the passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, near Shanksville in Somerset County, Pa. LPD 25 is scheduled to be commissioned in the Navy fleet on March 1, 2014, in Philadelphia. The ship will join the two other Ingalls-built LPDs named in honor of the victims of Sept. 11, USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Arlington (LPD 24).

In addition to more than 10,000 Ingalls shipbuilders, there are 650 suppliers from 38 states that support the LPD 17 program. Ingalls spends approximately $175 million a year with this vital industrial base.

Built to be survivable and flexible, these complex warships ships enable the services to carry out their missions without constraints or additional assets. The 11 ships of the LPD 17 class are a key element of the Navy’s ability to project power ashore. Collectively, they functionally replace more than 41 ships (the LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships), providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable and built to operate with 21st century platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey.

The LPD 17-class ships are 684 feet long and 105 feet wide and displace approximately 25,000 tons. Their principal mission is to deploy the combat and support elements of Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades. The ships can carry up to 800 troops and have the capability of transporting and debarking air cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing crafts, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft such as the MV-22. These ships will support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.

USS San Antonio rescues 128 refugees from raft in Mediterranean

BZ to the men & women aboard the San Antonio.

USS San Antonio Responds to Persons in Distress Near Malta

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) — At the request of the Maltese government, the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) rendered assistance Oct. 16 to persons in distress at sea in the central Mediterranean.

131016-N-ZZ999-001 MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Oct. 16, 2013) Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio (LPD 17) rescued 128 to persons in distress at sea in the central Mediterranean Oct. 16. San Antonio was more than 60 nautical miles away when she was directed to assist, arriving on scene at approximately 6 p.m. local time. The men, between the ages of 20 and 30, were provided food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter aboard the Norfolk, Va.-based ship. (RELEASED/U.S. Navy photo)

Winds and seas were rocking the raft when it was spotted by a Maltese patrol aircraft. Shortly thereafter, the Maltese government contacted several ships in the area, as well as U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, and requested assistance in rescuing the distressed persons.

San Antonio was a little more than 60 nautical miles away when she was directed to assist, and arrived on scene at approximately 6 p.m. local time. Soon after, her crew began transferring the individuals using two 11-man rigid hull inflatable boats.

In all, 128 men between the ages of 20 and 30 were rescued from the raft. San Antonio provided food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter to all.

Assistance efforts were ongoing as this story was updated at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.