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Ingalls Shipbuilding lifted into place second half of flight deck for US Navy LPD 29 Richard M McCool Jr.

| 2020

According to information published on December 19, 2020, Shipbuilders at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, recently lifted into place the second half of the flight deck for U.S. Navy amphibious transport dock Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Shipbuilders at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, recently lifted into place the second half of the flight deck for U.S. Navy amphibious transport dock Richard M. McCool Jr. LPD 29. (Picture source Huntington Ingalls Industries)

The USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD-29) will be the 13th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy. She is named after U.S. Navy officer and Medal of Honor recipient Richard Miles McCool, Jr.

In February 2018, the U.S. Navy signed a $1.4 billion contract with Ingalls Shipbuilding for the LPD-29 San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, also called a "landing platform, dock" (LPD), A total of 13 San Antonio-class Flight I were ordered by the U.S. navy and 11 ships are already in service with the U.S. Navy. On 2 August 2018, the U.S. Navy and Huntington Ingalls signed a contract for long lead items for LPD-30, the first of the 13-ship more affordable Flight II class. 

The design of the San Antonio Amphibious Assault Ships was jointly developed by U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and industry stakeholders to provide superior performance over a broad range of operational requirements. This class of ship provides the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms for the execution of Expeditionary Warfare Missions. Each ship’s survivability features allow the crew to confidently sail into harm’s way and extend their reach with the compliment of air-cushioned landing craft, helicopters, or tiltrotor aircraft.

With a length of 208 m, the San Antonio class ships are used to embark and land Marines, their equipment and supplies ashore via air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey. The ships support a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the spectrum of operations, conducting amphibious and expeditionary missions of sea control and power projection to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions throughout the first half of the 21st century.

The San Antonio class is powered by four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick diesel engines with two shafts developing 41,600 shp. The ship can reach a top speed of 22 knots (25 mph; 41 km/h). The ship has a length of 208.5 m, a beam of 31.9 m, and a draft of 7 m. The ship can accommodate two LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushion) also named hovercraft or one LCU (Landing Craft Utility ), a type of boat used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. The ship can also carry 14 amphibious combat vehicles including M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks, 60 tons of military equipment, and up to 800 troops.

The San Antonia class is armed with two Bushmaster II 30 mm close-in-guns, two Rolling Airframe Surface-to-Air Missile launchers, two Mk 41 eight-cell VLS for quad-packed ESSMs Evolved SeaSparrow Missile air defense system and several twin M2 Browning machine gun turrets.

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