Fort Lauderdale is the 12th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship for the U.S. Navy. It is considered a “transition” ship because it features a number of modifications compared to earlier ships of the class. For example it is fitted with a simple mast (similar to the DDG 51 class mast) in place of the “stealth mast” design, for affordability reasons.
On March 7 2020, the ship was translated 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.
“I am thrilled to get Fort Lauderdale in the water, so we can begin final outfitting and eventually take the ship out to sea for trials. The San Antonio class has proven essential to expeditionary warfighters, and we are eager to deliver another ship to the fleet.”
Capt. Scot Searles, LPD 17 class program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships
About San Antonio-class LPD
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 ships inherent capabilities, they are able to support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups, or Joint Task Forces.
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.