Ingalls authenticates keel for Harrisburg (LPD 30)

(NEWPORT NEWS, Va.) — Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced Wednesday that the company’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division has authenticated the keel of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Harrisburg (LPD 30).

The ship’s sponsor, Alexandra Curry, a resident of Middletown, Pa., and wife of the Middletown mayor, was unable to attend the ceremony, so Rear Adm. Tom Anderson, Program Executive Officer Ships, stepped in to declare the keel “truly and fairly laid.”

“While she could not join us, we welcome Mrs. Curry in spirit as she is now an important part of our shipbuilding family,” said Kari Wilkinson, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding. “We look forward to being with her throughout the life of the ship, and we are very grateful for her commitment to this crew. She is a true patriot, with deep respect and gratitude for military service.”

Ingalls pipe welder Stephen Guiney welds the initials of Alexandra Curry onto the keel plaque that will be permanently part of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Harrisburg (LPD 30). HII photo

The keel ceremony marked the start of construction for Harrisburg by welding the initials of the ship’s sponsor into a ceremonial plate.

Harrisburg is being built at Ingalls Shipbuilding and will be the first Flight II amphibious ship in the San Antonio class. LPD Flight II is the next generation amphibious ship to replace the Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) classes of dock landing ships. Ingalls has delivered 11 San Antonio-class ships to the U.S. Navy and has three more under construction.

The San Antonio class is a major part of the Navy’s 21st-century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long, 105-foot-wide 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.

– Huntington Ingalls Industries

By Rich Miller