The future USS Anchorage (LPD 23) launched Feb. 12 from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's Avondale, La., shipyard, marking a key milestone in the ship's construction process.
Due to extensive pre-outfitting efforts, Anchorage will be the most complete ship in the class at the time of launch.
"We started construction on the first ship of the LPD 17 class 11 years ago." said Jay Stefany, LPD 17 program manager for the Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "As the seventh ship of the class launches, we know she will continue to benefit from the serial production efficiencies and mature design products that will result in delivering a quality warship at a predictable cost to the fleet."
Anchorage is the seventh ship of the San Antonio-class of landing platform docks and is named for the largest city in Alaska. The ship's sponsor is Annette Conway, wife of U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway. She will christen the ship this May in a traditional Navy ceremony.
The ships of the San Antonio (LPD 17) class functionally replace more than 41 ships (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 transformational platforms.
These versatile ships incorporate both a flight deck to accommodate CH-46 helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and a well deck that can launch and recover landing craft and amphibious vehicles. The San Antonio class' increased vehicle space and substantial cargo carrying capacity make it a key element of twenty-first century Amphibious Ready Groups, Expeditionary Strike Groups, or Joint Task Forces.
In addition to performing their primary mission, Anchorage's sister ships have already served as flagships for anti-piracy operations and have provided humanitarian assistance and foreign disaster relief operations in support of the people of Haiti.
Five ships from the San Antonio class have already been commissioned, including USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), USS Green Bay
(LPD 20) and USS New York (LPD 21). The future USS San Diego
(LPD 22), future USS Arlington (LPD 24) and future USS Somerset (LPD 25) are also in production at Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula and Avondale shipyards, with the christening of LPD 24 scheduled this spring.