LPDs are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft and Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft (MV 22). These ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups. These ships perform a variety of expeditionary warfare missions and are designed to operate independently or as part of Amphibious Task Force (ATF), Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG), Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), or Joint Task Force (JTF).
|NEWPORT RI. USS John P. Murtha LPD 26 visits Newport, RI as part of the International Sea Symposium in September 2016. (U. S. Navy photo by First Class Petty Officer (EXW) Timothy Wilson/Released)
The 12 ships of the San Antonio (LPD 17) class are a key element of the Navy’s seabase transformation. The LPD 17 San Antonio class functionally replaced the older LPD 4 Austin class, LSD 36 Anchorage class, LKA 113 Charleston class, and LST 1179 Newport class amphibious ships.
Each ship encompasses more than 23,000 square feet of vehicle storage space, more than double that of the ships it replaced. Vehicle storage space is provided through a well deck design which allows for the transportation of LCAC’s or conventional landing craft. This capability is enhanced by the incorporation of a flight deck and hangar that accommodates both AH-1 helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
In an effort to reduce vulnerability, San Antonio class ships are engineered with a streamlined topside design that reduces the ship’s appearance on radars. Combining this improvement with state-of-the-art Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities provides the class with 21st century survivability features.
With a maximum speed in excess of 22 knots and total displacement of 24,900 tons, the San Antonio class is powered by four turbocharged diesel engines. The ship is capable of transporting a landing force of up to 800 Marines.
In a unique ship building initiative for the last ship of the class, Fort Lauderdale LPD 28 will incorporate design innovations and cost-reduction strategies intended for LX(R). Among the changes LPD 28 will just have one traditional mast instead of the two Advanced Enclosed Mast/Sensors of her sister ships, will no longer have an after deck house, and have a reduced number of electrical generators. The ship will carry fewer troops and have less vehicle stowage space than her sister ships. With all technically feasible cost reduction initiatives integrated into the ship specifications that supported the LPD 28, the design will serve as a baseline for LX (R)
Construction on USS San Antonio (LPD 17), the first ship of the class, commenced in June 2000 and was delivered to the Navy in July 2005. LPDs 18 - 26 have been delivered and commissioned. LPD 27 is currently under construction and is expected to be delivered in FY17. LPD 28 is expected to follow in 2020.
On Dec. 4, 2015, the Navy awarded Huntington Ingalls a contract action for LPD 28 long lead time material to support detail design and construction with contract award planned for late 2016.
Updated Jan 2017