Description: Warships that embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.
Features: The amphibious transports are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked air cushion or conventional landing craft or amphibious vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical take off and landing aircraft in amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions.
Background: These versatile ships perform the mission of amphibious transports, amphibious cargo ships and the older LPDs by incorporating both a flight deck and a well deck that can be ballasted and deballasted to support landing craft or amphibious vehicles. The Navy's newest class of ship, San Antonio (LPD 17), is scheduled to replace the older LPD 4 class and its increased vehicle and substantial cargo carrying capacity will make it a key element of 21st Century Amphibious Ready Groups, Expeditionary Strike Groups, or Joint task forces. The 12 ships of the class integrate the latest in shipbuilding and war fighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft, the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAAVs) and air cushion or conventional landing craft. The Navy announced the contract award for LPD-17 on Dec. 17, 1996.