The steel profile of San Antonio, the first ship of the LPD 17 class, can now be seen rising along the banks of the Mississippi River at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Avondale, La.
The LPD-17, a program of Naval Sea Systems Command's (NAVSEA) Program Executive Office for Expeditionary Warfare, is a new class of Amphibious transport dock ship incorporating advanced performance and warfighting
technologies that will enhance the amphibious fleet's operational flexibility. LPD-17 is also the first amphibious ship designed to
accommodate the Marine Corps' "mobility triad" of Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAAV), Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and the MV-22
The San Antonio construction program enjoyed some recent successes, thanks to a new incentive program established by NAVSEA's LPD-17 program office. The program provides incentives to the shipyard to enhance efficiencies and complete construction phases on schedule and within budget. San Antonio construction achieved its 10 percent completion milestone in February 2002 and is quickly nearing its 20 percent production objective.
Also, Northrop Grumman procured all four main propulsion diesel engines and three out of five of the ship's service diesel generators well ahead of
There is significant progress in other areas as well. The LPD 17 Design Team is nearing completion of detailed design, finalizing the computer modeling that will streamline production. Northrop Grumman's Avondale Division began re-fabrication of New Orleans (LPD 18) in February, with the ship's keel laying scheduled
for September 2002. Bath Iron Works
started pre-fabrication of the third ship of the
class, Mesa Verde
(LPD 19), in July 2001.
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, leading a team including General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works, Raytheon Electronic Systems, and Intergraph Corporation, will deliver the finished San Antonio in 2004, shortly followed by LPD 18 and 19.
(Source: By Craig McKay, Naval Sea Systems Command)