The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries a $1.5 billion contract for the construction of LPD 31, the service’s second Flight II amphibious transport ship.
In addition to being the second Flight II ship, LPD 31 is the fifteenth in the US Navy’s San Antonio-class of ships tasked with transporting marines ashore via landing craft or air cushion vehicles, or CH 46 Sea Knight helicopters and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22).
The first 13 ships measure 208 meters in length and can transfer over 600 troops with two landing craft air cushion(LCAC) and a conventional LCU in addition to amphibious assault vehicles.
The derivative Flight II units are envisioned as more affordable ships with reduced capabilities. They will have a more traditional mast in place of the two advanced enclosed mast/sensors and an updated deckhouse and boat valley design. The ships will carry fewer troops and have slightly less vehicle stowage space but still have greater capacity than the legacy Whidbey Island-class they are replacing.
According to the Pentagon announcement from April 3, Huntington Ingalls Industries is expected to complete work under the contract for LPD 31 by 2027.