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The littoral combat ship USS Fort

Worth (LCS 3) prepares to transit alongside the Military Sealift Com- mand dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) during a replenishment-at-sea. Fort

Worth is conducting routine patrols in international waters of the South

China Sea near the Spratly Islands.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto tions in San Diego, and get underway on ating simultaneously to cover more area. erate independently or as part of a task Like the LCAC, the SSC is an air cushion one of the ships, while one of the three force to embark, transport and land Ma- vehicle that can operate from amphibi- crews is deployed forward on the other. JHSV rine expeditionary forces. Each LPD 17 ous ships and mobile landing platforms

Milwaukee (LCS 5), Detroit (LCS 7), Designed for high-speed intra-theater class ship has more than 23,000 square to travel at high speed to land vehicles,

Little Rock (LCS 9), Sioux City (LCS lift, the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) feet of vehicle storage space and well heavy equipment, and supplies for a va- 11), and Wichita (LCS 13) are under is a1,515 ton catamaran made of all alu- deck design which to carry and operate riety of expeditionary missions.

contract to Lockheed Martin and are in minum construction at Austal USA, in landing craft air cushioned (LCAC) ve- The Navy plans to procure 73 SSC construction at the Marinette Marine Mobile, Ala, where the ships are con- hicles or conventional landing craft. It craft, with deliveries starting in 2017 and

Corp. shipyard. Jackson (LCS 6), Mont- structed on a production line alongside can also operate helicopters and MV-22 initial operational capability projected gomery (LCS 8), Gabrielle Giffords the all-aluminum Independence-class Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. The LPD 17 for ? scal year 2020. Textron, Inc., New (LCS 10), Omaha (LCS 12), and Man- littoral combat ship. class are being built at Huntington In- Orleans, La. has the detail design and chester (LCS 14) are under contract to USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) just com- galls Industries. construction (DD&C) contract.

Austal USA and are in construction at pleted a deployment to Africa, and the Austal USA shipyard. USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) is now de- LSD 41 “Big Deck Amphibs” ployed in support of Paci? c Partnership. The Navy has 12 USS Whidbey Island The Navy operates several versions

Billings (LCS 15), Indianapolis (LCS Construction on the lead ship began in (LSD 41) class and USS Harpers Ferry of the large deck amphibious warfare 17) and LCS 19 are under contract with 2010, and she was delivered and placed (LSD 49) class dock landing ships—built ships known as LHAs and LHDs. The

Lockheed Martin and in the pre-produc- in service in December of 2012. Four of at Lockheed Shipbuilding, Seattle, Wash., Tarawa-class LHAs and Wasp-class tion phase at Marinette Marine Corp, while the ships are operational and the ? fth has and Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, LHDs provide the Marine Corps with

Tulsa (LCS 16), Charleston (LCS 18), and just been delivered. Four more are under La.—are smaller than the LPDs, and can the ability to deliver Marines ashore by

LCS 20 are under contract with Austal construction, and the tenth ship is under also carry cargo, Landing Craft Air Cush- either helicopters or landing craft such

USA and in the pre-production phase. contract. The production line is now ion (LCAC), conventional landing craft as the LCAC. The LHA Replacement

The last 20 ships of the 52-ship pro- producing a new ship every six months. and helicopters, to support Marines and (LHA(R)) is intended to replace the ag- gram will be built as multi-mission The last ship in the class, the USNS Bur- expeditionary operations. These ships are ing Tarawa class. The newest of the “big frigates instead of the recon? gurable lington (JHSV 10), is expected to be de- receiving mid-life modernizations. decks” is USS Makin Island (LHD 8) focused mission LCS variants. The frig- livered in July 2017. and USS America (LHA 6). The LHA ates will have more weapons and surviv- “Our JHSV is an amazing cargo haul- LCAC (R) class are optimized for aviation and ability features built in. er, able to travel at 35+ knots for long The Landing Craft, Air Cushioned capable of supporting current and future

The Navy proved the value of having distances carrying up to 600 tons of (LCAC) is a high-speed, fully amphibi- aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV 22 and an LCS deployed to the region follow- wheeled and tracked vehicles that come ous landing craft capable of carrying a the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). ing the loss of the Air Asia aircraft in aboard using a large stern ramp. Airline- 60-75 ton payload, such as an M-1 tank, LHD 8 and LHA 6 are 844 feet in the Java Sea. Immediately after arriving style passenger seats allow up to 300 at speeds of more than 40 knots and de- length and displace about 45,000 tons.

Singapore, Fort Worth got underway to troops to embark,” said Rear Adm. Tom liver its load “feet dry” onto the beach. Both were built by Huntington Ingalls support the search and recovery effort. Shannon, commander of Military Sea- The LCAs are undergoing a service life Industries. USS Tripoli (LHA 7) is cur-

A mobile diving and salvage unit was lift Command. “Berthing for up to 100 extension program (SLEP) to keep these rently under construction at HII.

embarked aboard Fort Worth, taking people is available. Add to this a shallow craft in service until replaced by the advantage of the ship’s internal volume draft of 15 feet and you’ve got austere new ship-to-shore connector. Of the 91 T-AKE and ability to launch and recover off- port capability. And we get all of this at a LCACs originally built, 73 are to receive The USNS Lewis and Clark class (T- board systems. Using Fort Worth’s two reasonable cost.” SLEP improvements. AKE) of dry cargo/ammunition ships 11-meter RHIBS allowed the divers they have replaced Military Sealift Com- were to bring their remotely operated ve- LPD 17 SSC mand’s single-mission ammunition and hicles and side scan sonar onboard the The USS San Antonio (LPD 17) class The Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) combat store ships. They are a welcome 11-meter rib, and have two of them oper- of amphibious transport docks can op- will replace the existing LCAC ? eet. sight for U.S. and allied combatants be- 44 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • JUNE 2015

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