Work begins on new assault ship at Ingalls

PASCAGOULA, MS (AP) - Ingalls Shipbuilding has begun construction on LPD 26, the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship.

The Mississippi Press reports the vessel is named for U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha, the long-serving Pennsylvania Democrat who died in February 2010. Murtha also spent time in the U.S. Marine Corps.

In April, the shipyard in Pascagoula was awarded a $1.5 billion final construction contract to build the ship.

The ship's keel laying is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. It is scheduled to be launched in the third quarter of 2014 and delivered to the Navy in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Ingalls has delivered the first 5 ships of the class. Four others are currently under construction in Pascagoula and Avondale, La.

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