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San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock
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
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: 3
Planned: 12
Completed: 8
Cancelled: 1
Active: 8
General characteristics
Type: Amphibious transport dock
Displacement: 24,900 t
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× Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles/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:
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 the U.S. Navy's new primary class of amphibious transport dock (LPD) warships for the first third of the 21st century.[2] These warships are to 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 has already been retired.[2]

Twelve ships of the San Antonio class were proposed, but only eleven funded, with one cancelled 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 May 2013 eight warships of this class are in service with the U.S. Navy.

Design and development

The class's increased vehicle and substantial cargo carrying capacity will make it a key element of 21st century Amphibious Ready Groups, Expeditionary Strike Groups, or Joint task forces. The ships of the new class integrate the latest in shipbuilding and naval warfare technologies to support current and future U.S. Marine Corps warplanes, and both air cushion landing craft or conventional landing craft.[2]

The San Antonios are designed to be the most survivable amphibious ships ever put to sea. Their design incorporates state-of-the-art self-defense capabilities; and includes facilities for command and control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I). They also have a reduced radar cross-section designed in. Reduced operational costs and an improved capability to incorporate technological advances over their estimated 40-year service lives are also essential design objectives. The Advanced Enclosed Mast/Sensors, which enclose the ship's radars and communications antennas, characterize the ship's distinctive profile.[2] The San Antonio class was largely designed with the metric system, specifying millimeters and meters for linear dimensions. This is the first major U.S. Navy ship class to be built this way. Most of their machinery remains in U.S. customary units. The ships of the class can carry Landing Craft, Air Cushioned (LCACs), the Shipboard Wide Area Network with over 762 fiber optic drops, Total Ship's Training System, Integrated Bridge System, Engineering Control System, and Damage Control System all serve to ensure that sailors and Marines will be able to fully perform their expeditionary warfare missions. The San Antonios also incorporate the latest quality of life standards for the embarked Marines and sailors, including the sit-up berth, ship services mall, and Learning Resource Center/Electronic Classroom with the flexibility to accommodate sailors and Marines of both sexes as part of the crew and embarked troops.[4] The U.S. Department of Defense Department's Director of 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'.[5] 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".[6] San Antonio has experienced several construction related issues.

United States senator Kay Hagan has asked if the LPD-17 construction line ought to 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.[7] However Commandant James F. Amos has also endorsed dropping LSD in favor of continued LPD production.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10][11]

Ships of the class

 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 Norfolk, Virginia 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 Spring 2014 Under trials[12]
John P. Murtha LPD-26 Ingalls, Miss. Under construction[13]
Portland LPD-27 Ingalls, Miss. Under construction[14]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "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. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "US Navy Fact File: Amphibious Transport Dock — LPD". U.S. Navy. 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  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". 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  5. Capaccio, Tony Northrop Navy Ships `Not Survivable' in Combat, Official Says Bloomberg, 28 October 2010
  6. "LPD-17 San Antonio Class Amphibious Transport Dock". DOT&E
  7. O'Rourke, Ronald. "Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress." Congressional Research Service, 16 March 2011.
  8. "Navy League Conference 2013 speeches on the future of the maritime services."
  9. Freedberg, Sydney J. Jr. "Modular 'Trucks' Will Rule The Waves: CNO." Aol Defense. 18 April 2012.
  10. "HII Pitching BMD Role For LPD-17 Hull."
  11. "LPD Flight II."
  12. "Ingalls-built Amphibious Transport Dock Somerset (LPD 25) Completes Acceptance Trials". October 11, 2013. 
  13. "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. 
  14. "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

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