Huntington Ingalls launches San Antonio-class Richard M. McCool Jr.

According to a press release published by Huntington Ingalls Industries on January 10, 2021, the firm announced the successful launch of amphibious transport dock Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 San Antonio class amphibious transport dock Richard M. McCool Jr. (Picture source: Franklin Pierce)

Richard M. McCool Jr., the 13th LPD in the San Antonio class of amphibious assault force ships, will support U.S. amphibious assault, special operations, and expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.

With the assistance of tugs, Richard M. McCool Jr. came off the floating dry dock, after first being translated via Ingalls’ rail car system. The dock was moved away from the pier and then ballasted to float off the ship.

Launching Richard M. McCool Jr. is the first of a series of significant milestone events in bringing the ship to life and eventual delivery to the U.S. Navy which is planned for later next year.

Ingalls Shipbuilding is building the entire San Antonio class of ships, the newest addition to the Navy’s 21st-century amphibious assault force.

The 684-foot-long, 105-foot-wide ships that displace 25,000 tons 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 San-Antonio class is armed with two Bushmaster II 30 mm close-in-guns, two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers, two Mk 41 eight-cell VLS for quad-packed ESSMs, and several twin M2 Browning machines gun turrets.

An amphibious transport dock also called a landing platform dock (LPD), is an amphibious warfare ship, a warship that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions.

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