Huntington Ingalls Industries laid the keel for the America-class Bougainville amphibious warship, also known as LHA 8, on Thursday.
The ceremony at HII’s shipbuilding facility involved the installation of a steel plate that bore the initials of Ellyn Dunford, the vessel’s sponsor and wife of Gen. Joe Dunford, the U.S. Navy said.
The company began the construction of the ship in October 2018. It is currently building the America-class Tripoli warship (LHA 7) in addition to Bougainville.
The LHA 8 is the second Navy warship named after a two-year World War II campaign and is designed to provide warfighters with the ability to stage a surface assault and to hold and deploy a landing craft utility or two landing craft air cushion hovercraft units during maritime operations.