Page 11: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 15, 1985)

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berger points out, "while support- ing our goal of increasing overall lift capacity." The first LPD-4 SLEP is planned for full funding in FY 1988.

The FYDP projects funds for seven renovations, but requests only $5.1 million (RDT&E money) in FY 1986. An additional $80.5 million is projected for the FY 1987 budget request. The LPD-4 mission is to transport and land troops and their equipment and supplies; the SLEP will enhance that capability by ex- panding the LPD-4's LCAC-carry- ing capacity (two LCACs instead of one) and by permitting an approxi- mate doubling of the current heli- copter spots.

LSD-41 Landing Ship Dock: The

Whidbey Island-class LSD-41s give the Navy an amphibious versatility it has been lacking for the last three decades. Able to carry four LCACs as well as helicopters and V/STOLs, it will be succeeded by a "follow-on

LSD-41" previously called the

LPDX. The latter will carry only two LCACs but will have considera- bly more cargo space. LSD-41s funded earlier are under construc- tion at Lockhead Shipbuilding and

Construction, Seattle, and Avondale

Shipyards, New Orleans. A total of eight Whidbey Islands are pro- jected—the six funded earlier, and two requested in the FY 1986 bud- get $426.5 million for the two, with additional costs of $23.5 million es- timated for FY 1987). Six LSD-41 follow-ons are projected in the

FYDP: two per year, FY 1988 through FY 1990, inclusive. "We an- ticipate construction of additional [follow-on] units in future years,"

Secretary Weinberger says, "to replace amphibious ships scheduled for retirement in the latter half of the 1990s."

Some of the more important

LSD-41 specifications: displace- ment, 15,726 tons full load; length, 609 feet; beam, 84 feet; speed, 20 knots; power plant, four medium- speed diesels, two shafts, 34,000 brake-horsepower; aircraft, unspe- cified, but considered "helicopter and V/STOL-capable"; comple- ment, 356 (19 officers, 337 enlisted), plus 338 troops.

Mine Countermeasures Ship (MCM): The Avenger-class MCM-ls shore up another of the Navy's weak points, giving it the ability to hunt and neutralize advanced mines that cannot be countered by current sweeping techniques or platforms.

Nine MCM-ls have been authorized through FY 1985; the four requested in FY 1986 (at a combined $371.1 million price tag) and one in FY 1987 ($132.8 million) will complete the planned 14-ship program. Peter- son Builders, Sturgeon Bay, Wise., and Marinette Marine, Marinette,

Wise., are building MCM-ls pre- viously funded.

MCM-1 specifications: displace- ment, 1,040 tons full load; length, 224 feet; beam, 39 feet; draft, 11.4 feet; main engines, four Waukesha

L-1616 diesels (four Isotta-Fras- chini diesels will be fitted in MCMs- 3 on two shafts, 2,400 brake horse- power; speed, 14 knots; comple- ment, 72 (five officers, 67 enlisted).

MSH-1 Minesweeper Hunter: A complement and follow-up to the

MCM-1, then MSH-1 will be ap- proximately 150 feet in length, dis- place 470 tons, and carry a crew of about 50. Capable of coastal mine- clearance operations for up to five days duration without replacement, its principal mission will be accord- ing to Navy position paper, to "hunt, sweep, and/or neutralize modern enemy moored and bottom mines in a coastal scenario, to allow breakout of U.S. combatant and re- supply ships from CONUS (Conti- nental United States) military and commercial ports." A contract was awarded late last year to Bell Aero- space Textron of New Orleans for the lead ship (of a planned 17-ship class). Bell Aerospace won the $27.3-million contract with an imag- inative SES (surface effect ship) de- sign which isolates the ship, riding a cushion of air while on mission, from the shock of an underwater explosion and also significantly re- duces the ship's underwater acous- tic, magnetic, and pressure signa- tures. The FYDP projects procure- ment of four MSH-ls annually from

FY 1986 through FY 1989; the four in FY 1986 carry a combined price tag of $187.6 million; the four in FY 1987 are projected to cost $206.0 million

Nuclear Attack Submarine & (SSN-688): The Los Angeles-class

SSN-688 nuclear attack submarine is 360 feet long and displaces 6,900 tons. It carries a crew of 102, is equipped with Mark 48 torpedoes as well as Harpoon and SubRoc mis- siles, and is considered the U.S.

Navy's primary weapon system against the huge Soviet submarine (continued on page 14)

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March 15, 1985 13

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