San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock
|Builders:||Huntington Ingalls Industries (formerly Northrop Grumman Ship Systems)|
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Succeeded by:||N/A—current authorized amphibious transport dock line|
|General characteristics |
|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 (25 mph; 41 km/h)|
|Boats & landing
|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 docks, also called a landing platform/dock (LPD), 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.
Twelve ships of the San Antonio class were proposed, but only eleven were funded. Their original target price was $890 million; as built, their average cost is $1.6 billion. Defense Authorization for Fiscal Year 2015 included partial funding for a twelfth San Antonio-class ship. As of November 2014[update] nine warships of this class are in service with the U.S. Navy with an additional three ships under construction or authorized.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. Enhanced survivability features include improved nuclear blast and fragmentation protection and a shock-hardened structure. 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.
The class is fitted with the integrated Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS). The system fuses the radars and other sensors and controls the weapons systems for an automated fast reaction capability against air threats. 
The Advanced Enclosed Mast/Sensors (AEM/S) System mast, a 93-foot-high octagonal 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 octagonal shape of the AEM/S is designed to reduce the radar cross section, and enclosing the antennas provides improved performance and greatly reduces maintenance costs.
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.
By mid-2016, the Navy and Marine Corps were studying installing a vertical launch system (VLS) into San Antonio-class ships so they could field larger offensive missiles. The original ship concept included two 8-cell Mk 41 VLS in the bow, which is being reexamined to add Tomahawk cruise missiles to support Marines ashore with little modification to the combat system.
Following the extended problems and incidents experienced by 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". The DOT&E found in 2011 that the first ship of the class, USS San Antonio, had several deficiencies which rendered it "not operationally effective, suitable, or survivable in a hostile environment". In April 2015, the USN proposed adding a 12th ship to the class. Which will be built at Ingalls in exchange for a destroyer to be named later. On 4 December 2015, the 12th ship was ordered.
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. However, Commandant James F. Amos had also endorsed dropping LSD in favor of continued LPD production. 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. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 included partial funding for a twelfth San Antonio-class ship (LPD-28). In early 2014, HII displayed its Flight IIA version of the LPD-17 hull for the Navy's LX(R) amphibious ship. The design is further modified by removing some of the higher-end capabilities of the San Antonio class to create an "amphibious truck" to replace the Whidbey Island and Harpers Ferry landing ship docks. The Flight IIA has improved command and control (C2) features over the LSDs, half the medical spaces of the LDP-17 and a smaller hangar for stowing two MV-22s, no composite masts, two unspecified main propulsion diesel engines (MPDE), two spots for LCACs or one LCU, a reduced troop capacity (500) and a crew of about 400 sailors. In January 2015, the Navy and Marine Corps decided to go with the modified LPD-17 hull for the LX(R) program.
Chief of Naval Operations Greenert considered using some of the extra space in the San Antonio class to mount modular equipment in the same fashion as the littoral combat ships. 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. Although there is no formal requirement for the BMD variant, HII report unofficial support for it within the US Navy, such that it will be modelled in wargame scenarios in 2016 and 2017. It could accommodate up to 288 Mk41 VLS missile tubes and a radar with 1000 times the sensitivity of the SPY-1D radar of the Burke destroyers.
Ships of the class
|Name||Pennant 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||Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan||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|
|John P. Murtha||LPD-26||Ingalls, Miss.||30 October 2014||8 October 2016||San Diego, California||Active|
|Portland||LPD-27||Ingalls, Miss.||13 February 2016||Fitting out|
|Fort Lauderdale||LPD-28||Ingalls, Miss.||Contract awarded|
USS San Antonio during construction at Avondale, 2002
Port-bow view of USS San Antonio.
Port-quarter view of USS New Orleans.
- "DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2013 BUDGET ESTIMATES Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy" (PDF). Department of the Navy. February 2012. p. 13-1. LPD-27 is the last scheduled member of the class, bought with $2.021B (FY2012)
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- Gary L Pickens and Rear Admiral L. F. Picotte, USN (Ret.) (January 1999). "LPD 17—A Ship Built By and For the Expeditionary Warrior". NAVSEA's Deckplate. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
- "LPD-17 SAN ANTONIO-class". Federation of American Scientists. 2004-09-15. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
- "LPD-17 SAN ANTONIO Class". Globalsecurity.org. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
- Navy, Marine Corps Considering Adding Vertical Launch System to San Antonio Amphibs - News.USNI.org, 13 October 2016
- Capaccio, Tony Northrop Navy Ships `Not Survivable' in Combat, Official Says Bloomberg, 28 October 2010
- "LPD-17 San Antonio Class Amphibious Transport Dock". DOT&E
- Cavas, Christopher P. (5 April 2015). "New US Navy Fleet Goal: 308 Ships". www.defensenews.com. Gannett. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
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- O'Rourke, Ronald. "Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress." Congressional Research Service, 16 March 2011.
- "Navy League Conference 2013 speeches on the future of the maritime services."
- Memo: Hull Based on San Antonio Design is Navy’s Preferred Option for Next Generation Amphib - USNI.org, 20 October 2014.
- What the Navy’s Next Generation Amphibious Ship Could Look Like - News.USNI.org, 21 November 2014
- Freedberg, Sydney J. Jr. "Modular 'Trucks' Will Rule The Waves: CNO." Aol Defense. 18 April 2012.
- "HII Pitching BMD Role For LPD-17 Hull."
- "LPD Flight II."
- Fisher Jr, Richard D (19 May 2016). "Navy League 2016: Huntington Ingalls Industries notes increasing interest in BMD ship concept". IHS Jane's Navy International.
- "Ingalls-built Amphibious Transport Dock Somerset (LPD 25) Completes Acceptance Trials". 11 October 2013.
- "John P Murtha (LPD 26)". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Navy to Commission Amphibious Transport Dock John P. Murtha" (Press release). U.S. Department of Defense. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- "Future USS Portland (LPD 27) Launches". United States Navy. 14 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to San Antonio class amphibious transport docks.|
- San Antonio class Landing Platform Dock on Ingalls Shipbuilding's official website
- The San Antonio class's Web site
- San Antonio Class Landing Platform Dock, United States of America (Naval technology)
- San Antonio class Amphibious transport dock (Military today)
- San Antonio Class (LPD 17) Amphibious Transport Dock (navyrecognition.com)