LPD 24 is the eighth San Antonio (LPD 17) class amphibious transport dock ship and the third ship of the class constructed at Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
"This was the next critical milestone for Arlington as the ship progresses toward delivery," said Capt. Darren Plath, LPD 17 class program manager, Program Executive Office, Ships. "The shipbuilder has incorporated many lessons learned from previous ships of the class that will improve operability and reliability in LPD 24 for years to come.'
HII and government personnel conducted comprehensive tests intended to prove the performance of the communications systems, propulsion plant, ship handling, damage control capabilities and auxiliary systems. Additionally, the engineering control and ship control systems were demonstrated. Personnel from the Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Warfare Centers, LPD 17 class program office, and the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast evaluated the ship's performance dockside and while at sea.
Among the highlights of the trial, the Arlington completed a full power run, tactical air navigation system certification, self defense detect-to-engage exercise, evaluation of key combat and communications systems, rapid ballast/de-ballast operations, quick reversals ahead and astern, steering checks and an anchor handling demonstration.
"With LPD 24's builder's trials completed, this is the third such LPD 17 class trials completed in less than a year on the Gulf Coast," said Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast, Capt. Steve Mitchell. "Our government/industry team completed more than 800 tests leading up to this week and then assessed the operability of the ship through more than 240 separate events during the six day trial. Everything from the stern gate operation to the ship's whistle was assessed to ensure that the future USS Arlington will be a combat ready ship."
While the trials provided the first opportunity for the future USS Arlington's crew to see their ship underway, the primary focus of builder's trials is to measure performance and identify any possible construction discrepancies. The shipyard will next focus on Arlington's next major milestone, Navy acceptance trials. Shortly thereafter, the shipyard will officially deliver LPD 24 to the Navy.
LPD 24 is one of three ships, including USS New York (LPD 21) and the future USS Somerset (LPD 25), named in memory of those lost September 11, 2001. Arlington honors the 184 victims, aboard American Airlines Flight 77 and on the ground, who died during the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon, as well as the military and civilian employees, emergency, fire and rescue personnel of Arlington and surrounding communities who provided critical assistance after the attack. LPD 24 is the third U.S. Navy ship named Arlington.
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 special warfare craft.