LPD 17 San Antonio class amphibious transport docks provide the Navy and Marine Corps with a modern amphibious platform that has the ability to embark, transport and land elements of a Marine Expeditionary Unit and Brigade. 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).
AVONDALE, La. The amphibious transport dock ship Somerset (LPD 25) at Huntington Ingalls Industries Avondale Shipyard. (Photo courtesy HII.)|
The ships of the San Antonio (LPD 17) class are a key element of the Navy’s seabase transformation. LPD 17 class ships are engineered and equipped with the latest technologies allowing them to functionally replace 41 ships from the LST 1179, LKA 113, LSD 36 and LPD 4 ship classes.
Because the principal mission of LPD 17 San Antonio class ships is to deploy combat and support elements, these ships have been enhanced with additional lift capability. Each LPD 17 class ship encompasses more than 23,000 square feet of vehicle storage space, more than double that of the ships it replaces. Vehicle storage space is provided through a well deck design which allows for the transportation of landing craft air cushioned (LCAC) vehicles or conventional landing craft. This capability is enhanced by the incorporation of a flight deck and hangar that accommodates both CH-46 helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
In an effort to reduce vulnerability, LPD 17 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 and 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 kts and total displacement of 24,900 tons, the San Antonio class is powered by four turbocharged diesel engines. The ship is operated by a crew of 381 with a capability to transport a landing force of up to 800 Marines.
To date, LPDs 17 – 24 have been delivered. The future USS Somerset (LPD 25), future USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), and future USS Portland (LPD 27) are under construction at HII. LPD 25 is scheduled for delivery later this year, LPD 26 is planned for delivery in 2016, and LPD 27 is planned for delivery in 2017.