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San Antonio class

Amphibious transport dock

San Antonio class LPD

The San Antonio class vessels have been designed with low-observable characteristics

Entered service 2006
Crew 497 men
Sea endurance ?
Dimensions and displacement
Length 208.4 m
Beam 31.9 m
Draught 7 m
Displacement, standard ?
Displacement, full load 25 300 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 22 knots
Range ?
Propulsion 4 x diesels delivering 40 000 shp to two shafts
Troops (normal) 699 men
Troops (surge capacity) 800 men
Vehicles ?
Cargo ?
Landing craft
Landing craft 2 x LCAC or 1 x LCU
Helicopters 2 x CH-53 Sea Stallions or 4 x CH-46 Sea Knights or 2 x MV-22 Ospreys or 4 x UH-1N Twin Hueys
Artillery 2 x Bushmaster Mk.46 30-mm CIWS
Missiles Mk.41 VLS (vertical launch system) for two octuple Sea Sparrow systems and 64 missiles, 2 x Mk.31 RAM launchers


   The 12 ships of the LPD 17 or San Antonio (Landing Platform Dock) class will eventually replace three classes of amphibious assault vessel: LPD 4s, LSD 36s and LSTs, as well as the LKA (already retired in 2002) - a total of 41 vessels in all. This will not only modernise an increasingly elderly amphibious assault fleet but deliver significant savings in life-cycle costs and personnel numbers. However, costs of the first three vessels are substantially over-budget: the LPD 17 class will cost more than $800 million against an estimate of $617 million. This is despite numerous cost-saving measures including the decision to adopt a commercial surface search radar (AN/SPS-73). The design process exploited virtual reality computer programmes, enabling many internal layouts to be tested without protoypes being built. Input from over 2 500 serving personnel is intended to produce a vessel truly designed for the men and women who will live onboard.

   Approved in 1993, construction of the LPD 17 was delayed by legal disputes over the award of contracts but the first of the class, San Antonio, was commissioned in 2006. Second ship of the class, New Orleans, followed in 2007.

   On 7 September 2002, about one year after the attack on the World Trade Center, Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England, announced that the fifth ship of the class would be named New York.

   The US Marine Corps has developed the concept of the mobility triad and the LPD 17 class is the first assault ship designed from the outset to accommodate all three modes of transport: the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, the LCAC hovercraft and the AAV amphibious APC or EFVs. It is thus capable of landing troops some 320 km inland, making littoral operations far greater in scope than ever previously imagined. Two LCAC hovercraft or one LCU are embarked along with 14 AAVs. The well deck and stern layout are similar to that of the Wasp class but the superstructure is angled to reduce radar signature. A 24-bed hospital is included with two operating theatres and a casualty overflow capacity of 100 persons. Defensive weapons systems include the SSDS.

   The LPD 17 class ships deploy up to four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters simultaneously or two MV-22 Ospreys. Four MV-22s can be spotted on deck and one more in the hanger. Alternatively the hanger can accommodate one CH-53E, two CH-46s or two UH-1s. With double the vehicle storage space of the old LPD 4 class the LPD 17 class is also designed for maximum survivability, the combination of reduced radar profile and advanced computer systems to coordinate defensive weaponry is intended to allow the ship to operate alone if required, although it would normally be part of an amphibious ready group. San Antonio is the first US warship equipped with a fibre-optic Shipboard Wide Area Network (SWAN) that connects all ship systems, sensors and weapons, providing integrated real-time data to its combat command centre.


Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
USS San Antonio (LPD-17) 2000 2003 2006

active, in service

USS New Orleans (LPD-18) 2002 2004 2007

active, in service

USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) 2003 2004 2007

active, in service

USS Green Bay (LPD-20) 2003 2006 2009

active, in service

USS New York (LPD-21) 2004 2007 2009

active, in service

USS San Diego (LPD-22) 2007 2010 2012

active, in service

USS Anchorage (LPD-23) 2007 2011 2013

active, in service

USS Arlington (LPD-24) 2008 2010 2013

active, in service

USS Somerset (LPD-25) 2009 2012 2014

active, in service

USS John P.Murtha (LPD-26) ? ? expected in 2016

under construction

USS Portland (LPD-27) ? ? ?

under construction

? (LPD-28) ? ? ?


Video of the San Antonio class amphibious transport dock

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