San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock

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US Navy 110609-N-VL218-336 The amphibious transport dock ships USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and USS New York (LPD 21) are underway together in the Atla.jpg
Class overview
Builders: Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
Operators: United States Navy
Preceded by: Austin-class amphibious transport dock
Newport-class tank landing ship
Charleston-class amphibious cargo ship
Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship
Succeeded by: N/A—current authorized amphibious transport dock line
Cost: $1,602.5 million (ave. for class, FY2012)[1]
$2,021.4 million (last ship, FY2012)[1]
Built: 2000–2017 (forecast)[1]
In commission: 2006–present
Building: 2
Planned: 12
Completed: 9
Cancelled: 1
Active: 9
General characteristics [2]
Type: Amphibious transport dock
Displacement: 25,300 t (full)
Length: 684 ft (208 m)
Beam: 105 ft (32 m)
Draft: 23 ft (7.0 m), full load
Propulsion: Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, two shafts, 41,600 shp
Speed: In excess of 22 knots (41 km/h)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
Two LCACs (air cushion); or
LCU (conventional)
14× Amphibious Assault Vehicles
Complement: Crew: 28 officers, and 333 enlisted men
Landing force: 66 officers, and 633 enlisted men
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPS-48G, AN/SPQ-9B[1]
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
AN/SLQ-32[1]
Armament: Bushmaster II 30 mm close-in-guns
two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers
two Mk 41 eight-cell VLS for quad-packed ESSMs (if required)
Several twin M2 Browning machine gun turrets
Aircraft carried: Launch or land up to four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, or up to two MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft simultaneously with room to place four MV-22s on the flight deck and one in the hangar deck

The San Antonio class is a class of amphibious transport dock (LPD) warships used by the United States Navy. These warships replace the older Austin class LPDs (including Cleveland and Trenton sub-classes), as well as the Newport class tank landing ships, and the Charleston class amphibious cargo ships that have already been retired.[2]

Twelve ships of the San Antonio class were proposed, but only eleven funded, with one canceled due to budget cuts and cost overruns. Their original target price was $890 million;[3] as built, their average cost is $1.6 billion.[1] As of March 2014 nine warships of this class are in service with the U.S. Navy.

History[edit]

The San Antonio class was designed to provide the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms that are networked, survivable, and built to operate with 21st century transformational platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey, the (since canceled) Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), air-cushioned landing craft (LCACs), and future means by which Marines are delivered ashore.[2] The ship is more than 45 percent larger than the Austin class, displacing more than 25,000 tons at full load. It carries fewer troops but has twice as much space for vehicles, landing craft, and aircraft.[4]

The project embraced a "Design for Ownership" philosophy; a concurrent engineering approach that injects operator, maintainer, and trainer input into the design development process. The goal was to ensure that operational realities are considered throughout the total ship design, integration, construction, test and life cycle support of the new ships and their systems.[5] This process was intended to improve combat readiness, enhance quality of life, and reduce Total Ownership Costs, and resulted in numerous changes during the project.[6]

The San Antonio class has significant survivability features and computer technology. In addition to Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) protection from air threats, the class was designed to minimize radar signature. Radar cross-section (RCS) reduction techniques make the ships more difficult to locate and target.[6] Enhanced survivability features include improved nuclear blast and fragmentation protection and a shock-hardened structure.[7] The fiber-optic shipboard-wide area network (SWAN) connects onboard-integrated systems. The network will allow "plug in and fight" configuration, updating and replacing hardware more easily when newer technology becomes available. Moreover, the class has extensive communications, command, control, and intelligence systems to support current and projected expeditionary warfare missions of the 21st century.[6]

The Advanced Enclosed Mast/Sensors (AEM/S) System mast, a 93-foot-high hexagonal structure 35 feet in diameter, is constructed of a multi-layer frequency-selective composite material. It is designed to permit the ship's own sensor frequencies with very low loss while reflecting other frequencies. The tapered hexagonal shape of the AEM/S is designed to reduce radar cross section, and enclosing the antennas provides improved performance and greatly reduces maintenance costs.[8]

The San Antonio class also incorporates the latest quality of life standards for the embarked Marines and sailors, including sit-up berths, a ship services mall, a learning resource center, and a fitness center. Medical facilities include two operating rooms and 124 beds. Additionally, they are the first USN ships designed to accommodate sailors and Marines of both sexes as part of the crew and embarked troops.[9]

Following the extended problems and incidents experienced by the USS San Antonio, the U.S. Department of Defense's Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), stated in 2010 that the ships are 'capable of operating "in a benign environment," but not effective, suitable and not survivable in a combat situation'.[10] The DOT&E found in 2011 that the class's first ship, USS San Antonio, had several deficiencies which rendered it "not operationally effective, suitable, or survivable in a hostile environment".[11]

U.S. senator Kay Hagan has asked if the LPD-17 construction line should be extended to a 12th ship as a bridge to building the LX(R) (formerly LSD(X)) on the same hull, but the USN has indicated that the requirements of the LX(R) have not yet been settled and that the LPD-17 hull might be too large for such a mission.[12] However Commandant James F. Amos had also endorsed dropping LSD in favor of continued LPD production.[13] In October 2014, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus signed an internal memo recommending that the LX(R) warship be based on the existing San Antonio-class design. The LPD-17 design was selected over a foreign variant and an entirely new design to meet required capability, capacity, and cost parameters. Official selection of basing the LX(R) off the LPD-17 design still has to come with Milestone A approval.[14]

Chief of Naval Operations Greenert is considering using some of the extra space in the San Antonio class to mount modular equipment in the same fashion as the Littoral combat ship.[15] As part of their bid to offer "Flight II" LPD-17s for the Dock landing ship replacement contract, HII has suggested fitting out the ships to carry the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.[16][17]

Ships of the class[edit]

 Name   Number   Builder   Launched   Commissioned   Home port   Status 
San Antonio LPD-17 Avondale, La. 12 July 2003 14 January 2006 Norfolk, Virginia Active
New Orleans LPD-18 Avondale, La. 11 December 2004 10 March 2007 San Diego, California Active
Mesa Verde LPD-19 Ingalls, Miss. 19 November 2004 15 December 2007 Norfolk, Virginia Active
Green Bay LPD-20 Avondale, La. 11 August 2006 24 January 2009 San Diego, California Active
New York LPD-21 Avondale, La. 19 December 2007 7 November 2009 Mayport, Florida Active
San Diego LPD-22 Ingalls, Miss. 7 May 2010 19 May 2012 San Diego, California Active
Anchorage LPD-23 Avondale, La. 12 February 2011 4 May 2013 San Diego, California Active
Arlington LPD-24 Ingalls, Miss. 23 November 2010 8 February 2013 Norfolk, Virginia Active
Somerset LPD-25 Avondale, La. 14 April 2012 1 March 2014 San Diego, California Active[18]
John P. Murtha LPD-26 Ingalls, Miss. Under construction[19]
Portland LPD-27 Ingalls, Miss. Under construction[20]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2013 BUDGET ESTIMATES Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy". Department of the Navy. February 2012. p. 13-1.  LPD-27 is the last scheduled member of the class, bought with $2,021.4M (FY2012)
  2. ^ a b c "US Navy Fact File: Amphibious Transport Dock — LPD". U.S. Navy. 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  3. ^ "LPD-17 Selected Acquisition Report (SAR)". Department of Defense. 2011-12-31. p. 21. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  4. ^ "LPD-17 SAN ANTONIO Class". Globalsecurity.org. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  5. ^ "LPD 17 WORKSHOP REPORT / MISSIONS AND OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES / (MONTEREY II)". Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division. 1996-04. Retrieved 2014-04-09.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ a b c Gary L Pickens and Rear Admiral L. F. Picotte, USN (Ret.) (1999-01). "LPD 17—A Ship Built By and For the Expeditionary Warrior". NAVSEA's Deckplate. Retrieved 2014-04-09.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "San Antonio Class Landing Platform Dock". naval-technology.com. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  8. ^ "LPD-17 SAN ANTONIO-class". Federation of American Scientists. 2004-09-15. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  9. ^ "LPD-17 SAN ANTONIO Class". Globalsecurity.org. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  10. ^ Capaccio, Tony Northrop Navy Ships `Not Survivable' in Combat, Official Says Bloomberg, 28 October 2010
  11. ^ "LPD-17 San Antonio Class Amphibious Transport Dock". DOT&E
  12. ^ O'Rourke, Ronald. "Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress." Congressional Research Service, 16 March 2011.
  13. ^ "Navy League Conference 2013 speeches on the future of the maritime services."
  14. ^ Memo: Hull Based on San Antonio Design is Navy’s Preferred Option for Next Generation Amphib - News.USNI.org, 20 October 2014
  15. ^ Freedberg, Sydney J. Jr. "Modular 'Trucks' Will Rule The Waves: CNO." Aol Defense. 18 April 2012.
  16. ^ "HII Pitching BMD Role For LPD-17 Hull."
  17. ^ "LPD Flight II."
  18. ^ "Ingalls-built Amphibious Transport Dock Somerset (LPD 25) Completes Acceptance Trials". 11 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Ingalls Shipbuilding Awarded U.S. Navy Contract Worth $1.5 Billion to Build Company's 10th San Antonio-Class Amphibious Transport Dock". Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  20. ^ "Ingalls Shipbuilding Starts Fabrication on LPD 27, Company's 11th Ship in the Class". Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 

External links[edit]