JUNE 26, 2012 — The future USS Anchorage (LPD 23) successfully completed acceptance trials on June 22, sailing from and returning to Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) shipyard in Avondale, La. Anchorage is the seventh ship of the San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ships to be presented to the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) for acceptance, bringing it a step closer to delivery to the Navy.
"These trials are the final major milestone prior to delivering LPD 23 to the Navy," said Jay Stefany, LPD 17 class program manager for Program Executive Office, Ships. "Ingalls continues to make strides since the success of USS San Diego's (LPD 22) trials last fall in providing ships with vital amphibious capabilities to the Fleet. LPD 23's performance in these trials reflects the increasing maturity of the Class."
During the trials, the shipbuilder demonstrated a variety of systems including main propulsion engineering and ship control systems, combat and communications systems, damage control, various mission systems, food service and crew support, and the electronic backbone of the ship, the Shipboard Wide Area Network. Among the highlights of the at sea trial portion, Anchorage completed a four hour full power run, self defense detect-to-engage exercises, steering checks, quick reversal (crash-back), boat handling, and anchoring. The at sea rapid ballast and deballast demonstration is unique to amphibious ships and consists of rapidly flooding the ship's well deck as if landing craft were to be launched or recovered. The ship is then deballasted to return to the normal operating draft. In the case of this Acceptance Trial, the results of the rapid ballast event beat the 15 minute time standard by almost 2 minutes, a significant achievement.
In addition to the INSURV team, Navy experts from Naval Sea Systems Command, the LPD 17 class program office, and the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast participated in the trials.
"The government/industry team on the Gulf Coast is on track to deliver three LPDs within a year, a record for this ship Class," said Captain Steve Mitchell, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast. "Each team member contributed to quality assurance, testing, and evaluation in the months preceding these trials and the successful completion of over 200 trial events this week." The crew of the future USS Anchorage also played a key role in preparing their ship for Acceptance Trials.
The future Anchorage is scheduled to be commissioned in 2013 in the ship's namesake city of Anchorage, Alaska. This is the second ship to be named Anchorage after Alaska's largest city and home to over 40% of the State's population.
"The objective of any shipbuilding program is to continuously improve performance, and this sea trial proves that notion," said Doug Lounsberry, Ingalls' vice president and program manager, LPD 17 Program. "It never ceases to amaze me how a sea trial comes together. It's an overwhelming amount of logistics and coordination, yet our team continuously performs well. I'm also proud of the shipbuilders' efforts for getting LPD 23 ready for this acceptance trial. The ship handled her three days at sea very well, and now we've got to continue effective work as we prepare to deliver the ship to the Navy in the third quarter. Congratulations to all involved with this sea trial."
During the five-day acceptance trial evolution on land and at sea, the U.S. Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) observed more than 220 test events demonstrated on the ship by Ingalls' test and trials team. The team thoroughly tested ship systems such as anchor handling, flight operations, steering, navigation, ballasting and de-ballasting the well deck, and compartment air balancing.
"Once again, our strong partnership with the Navy/SupShip team worked well during this acceptance trial," said Richard Schenk, Ingalls' vice president of test and trials. "LPD 23 proved herself ready as we demonstrated the major systems on the ship, including some weapons system testing. This successful sea trial is a credit to the test and trials team and all the dedicated shipbuilders who played a part in building Anchorage. A 'well done' to everyone associated with this acceptance trial."