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US Navy Future USS Fort Lauderdale Amphibious Transport Dock Ship succesfully launched.

| 2020

The future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28) was successfully launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls Division shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, March 28. Fort Lauderdale is the Navy’s 12th San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship.

Future USS Fort Lauderdale Amphibious Transport Dock Ship Launched 925 001 The Navy's newest landing platform dock ship, the future USS Fort Lauderdale, was successfully launched in Pascagoula, Miss., on March 28, 2020 (Picture source: U.S. Navy)

On March 7 2020, the ship was transferred from the land level facility to the dry dock in preparation of floating off. During the launch, the dry dock was slowly flooded until the ship floated off the blocks.

San Antonio class ships support embarking, transporting, and landing elements of 650 Marines by landing craft or air-cushion vehicles. The ship’s capabilities are further enhanced by its flight deck and hangar, which can operate CH 46 Sea Knight helicopters and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22). Because of the ship's inherent capabilities, it is able to support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations and expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups, or Joint Task Forces.

Fort Lauderdale will feature design improvements developed in connection with the Navy's development of a next-generation dock landing ship, known as the LX(R)-class amphibious warfare ship. The LX(R) is intended to replace current Whidbey Island-class and Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ships.

In terms of specifications, USS Fort Lauderdale has a full load displacement of 25,000 tons and a total length of 208.5 m (684.1 ft) overall and 201.4 m (660.8 ft) waterline, a beam of 31.9 m (104.7 ft) extreme and 29.5 m (96.8 ft) waterline and a draft of 7.0 m (23.0 ft). With a cruising speed of 22 knots, USS Fort Lauderdale offers a range of 8,000 nm.

The USS Fort Lauderdale's main armaments comprise of 2 × 30 mm Bushmaster II cannon, for surface threat defense and 2 × Rolling Airframe Missile launchers for air defense.

As a transport ship, the vessel can carry a detachment of up to 800 personnel and has space for landing craft, vehicles and aircraft. According to some sources, four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters or two MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft may be launched or recovered simultaneously.

Ingalls Shipbuilding is also in production on the future USS Richard M. McCool (LPD 29) and Harrisburg (LPD 30). LPD 28 and 29 will serve as transition ships to LPD 30, the first LPD 17 Flight II ship.

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.

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