Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a $1.45b U.S. Navy shipbuilding contract for the construction and further development of a new San Antonio (LPD 17)-class ship. The contract is for the construction of one new amphibious transport dock ship, Arlington (LPD 24), and for long lead material procurement for Somerset (LPD 25).
Current Navy plans
call for Northrop Grumman to build at least nine ships in the class. Northrop Grumman delivered the first ship, USS San Antonio (LPD 17), in 2005, and the ship was commissioned in January 2006. Currently, New Orleans (LPD 18), Mesa Verde (LPD 19), Green Bay (LPD 20), New York (LPD 21) and San Diego (LPD 22) are in various stages of construction at the company's shipyards in New Orleans, La., and Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss. Last June, Northrop Grumman was awarded construction contracts for LPD 22 and Anchorage (LPD 23).
The San Antonio-class ships, 684 ft. long and 105 feet wide, will replace the functions of the LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LDT 1179 amphibious ships classes. The San Antonio-class ships afford the Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group with the technology and flexibility to launch and recover two amphibious
Landing Craft, Air Cushions (LCAC), operate an array of rotary-wing aircraft and carry and launch 14 Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles.
Technological and design advances in the LPD 17 class provide benefits such as enhanced survivability, state-of-the-art command and control, modernized weapons stations and enhanced ergonomics, which greatly improve quality of life at sea for sailors and Marines. This includes "sit-up" berths that allow occupants to sleep horizontally or sit up vertically to read or write. Each berth also has 40 percent more storage space than other ship type berths.
The ship will have a crew of 360 officers and enlisted Navy personnel and is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 800 Marines. It has a navigational draft of 23 feet and displaces approximately 25,000 tons. Four turbo-charged diesels power the ship to sustained speeds of 22 knots.