Construction of USS San Antonio (LPD 17), the first in the class of ships which bears her name, began in June 2000 with her commissioning in January 2006. Nearly every year since then, a new San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship (LPD) has commissioned into service in the U.S. Navy.
Coming in at 684 feet long with a weight of 25,300 metric tons, the modern $2 billion-dollar LPD specializes in the embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions. This surface warrior’s mission is to transport U.S. Marines and their mobility triad consisting of amphibious assault vehicles (AAAVs), landing craft air-cushion (LCAC) and the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, to the shore wherever needed around the world.
USS New York (LPD 21) was the first of three LPD 17-class ships built in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Navy named the eighth and ninth ships of the class, USS Arlington (LPD 24) and USS Somerset (LPD 25), in honor of the victims of the attacks on the Pentagon and United Flight 93, respectively. In December 2016, the Navy awarded Huntington Ingalls the detail design and construction of LPD 28 (Fort Lauderdale). As the 12th San Antonio class ship, LPD 28 will perform the same missions as the previous 11 ships of the class while incorporating technically feasible cost reduction initiatives and class lessons learned.
These modern marvel warships are impressive, no doubt, but at their core, they are cold steel. It’s their crews of Sailors and Marines that make them versatile players in maritime security with the ability to support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions. LPDs are capable of operating independently or as part of amphibious readiness groups, expeditionary strike groups or joint task forces, as well as supporting anti-piracy operations, providing humanitarian assistance and foreign disaster relief operations around the world. Whatever must be done to maintain the freedom of the seas, deter aggression, and protect U.S. interests and that of allies and partners.