By David Caskey
, Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs
Naval Sea Systems Command recently awarded Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Avondale Operations, New Orleans a $171,050,850 contract modification to a previous contract for long-lead time materials for the fifth San Antonio-class ship, LPD 21. Work will be performed in Avondale, La., and will be completed by February
2003. The Shipbuilding Construction (SCN) contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships will be used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked landing craft or amphibious vehicles augmented by helicopters in amphibious assault.
These versatile ships will perform the mission of amphibious transports, amphibious cargo ships and the older dock landing ships by incorporating both a flight deck and a well deck that can be ballasted and deballasted to support landing craft. The San Antonio-class will replace four retiring ship classes.
These ships will be the most survivable amphibious vessels that have ever put to sea. The design will minimize the radar signature by streamlining the topside and incorporating an enclosed mast that surrounds the ship's radars and communications antennas
. These features will give these ships a very distinctive profile.
These ships also incorporate the latest quality of life standards for the embarked Marines and Sailors, including the sit-up berth, ship services mall, a fitness center and a learning resource center/electronic classroom.