Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)
's Ship Systems sector christened LPD 17 San Antonio on
Saturday, July 19, 2003, at the company's Avondale operations near New Orleans. Hundreds of guests and employees attended the traditional dockside ceremony.
The San Antonio is first of 12 in a new class of amphibious
transport dock ships being built for the U.S. Navy by Northrop Grumman.
"San Antonio is the most advanced amphibious ship ever built," said,
Gen. Michael W. Hagee, commandant of the U.S. Marines Corps, during the
principal address at the ceremony. "It represents the culmination of
many years of development and is the first of a ship class that will
take our Navy and Marine Corps team, as well as the nation, far into
the 21st century."
The 684-foot, 25,000-ton ship is named in honor of the city of
San Antonio. The ship's sponsor was U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
from Texas who christened the vessel.
"The spirit, the gloried past, and the stubborn courage of the
Alamo will sail inside San Antonio and every ship in the class," said
Hutchison. "For the San Antonio and its crew, we know they will serve
with the same distinction that their forbearers did and the fight for
freedom will never be lost."
Currently, the ship is more than 75 percent complete. Crews
will now begin to outfit the bridge, fire-control room, living spaces,
and start powering up the ship's systems. San Antonio will be
commissioned for U.S. Atlantic Fleet duty in 2005, will be home ported
in Norfolk, Va., will have a crew of 361 and can transport up to 800
As the first ship designed for the 21st century "Mobility
Triad," the mission of LPD 17 class ships is to embark, transport and
land elements of a Marine force in an assault by helicopters, landing
craft or advanced amphibious vehicles in order to conduct any type of
Ship Systems' Gulfport and Tallulah operations also supplied
major components and large assemblies for the ship.
"We're bringing all of Northrop Grumman's technologies to bear
on San Antonio," said Dr. Ronald D. Sugar, chief executive officer and
president of Northrop Grumman Corporation. "We're seeing a stunning
preview of what is possible when the full talents and capabilities of
Northrop Grumman are applied to the special challenges of
The LPD 17 amphibious transport dock ships will be the
functional replacement for 36 Navy ships
in the LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113
and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships.
As prime contractor for the LPD 17 program, Northrop Grumman
Ships Systems leads a team comprised of Raytheon Electronic Systems,
Intergraph Corporation and vendors in 36 states.
Northrop Grumman is building three additional LPDs and will
provide advanced equipment for two additional ships.