PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- The future USS Arlington (LPD 24) launched Nov. 23 from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard, marking a key milestone in the ship's construction process.
Arlington honors the 184 victims who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the first responders from the county.
"The courage and heroism of the people aboard the flight, and in the Pentagon, will never be forgotten by the American people," said former Secretary of the Navy Gordon England.
Arlington is the eighth ship of the San Antonio class of landing platform docks and is scheduled to be christened in early 2011. Arlington will be an important element of future expeditionary strike and amphibious ready groups, supporting improved warfighting capabilities, including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features.
The ship will serve as an effective sea-based platform for the Marines, projecting power ashore through the mobility triad of high speed landing craft air cushioned vehicles, expeditionary fighting vehicles and the Osprey MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.
Arlington's sister ships have already served as flagships for anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and have provided humanitarian assistance and foreign disaster relief operations in support of the government of Haiti.
Five ships from the San Antonio class have already been commissioned, including USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and USS New York (LPD 21). The future USS San Diego (LPD 22) is also in production at Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula shipyard and will be completed in 2011. The future USS Anchorage (LPD 23) will be launched at Northrop Grumman's Avondale shipyard in early 2011.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.