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San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock begins first underway in three years

San Antonio class amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio (LPD 17) began Sea Trials February 29. This is the ship’s first underway following a three-year Chief of Naval Operations maintenance availability.

San Antonio class amphibious transport dock begins first underway in three years 925 001 USS San Antonio (LPD 17) (Picture source: U.S. Navy)

Construction of the first ship of 12, the San Antonio (LPD 17), began in June 2000. The ship’s keel was laid in December 2000. It was launched in July 2003 and commissioned in January 2006. The San Antonio is home-ported at the Norfolk naval base, Virginia. The short underway will be the first time the San Antonio has been underway since February of 2017.

During Sea Trials, the San Antonio will undergo multiple training scenarios for each department designed to evaluate the performance of the ship after an extensive maintenance period.

The ship is constructed from steel and designed to minimise radar cross-section.

Enhanced survivability features include improved fragmentation and nuclear blast protection as well as a shock-hardened structure. Automation and integration of systems have enabled a significant reduction in the crew, projected to be 361.

The 684ft-long, 105ft-wide ship provides three vehicle decks of 25,402ft and two cargo holds, with 25,548ft for bulk cargo and ammunition magazines in addition to the 1,234m for cargo fuel.

Accommodation is provided for two LCAC, 700 troops and 14 new AAAVs. Each LCAC is capable of carrying 60t of cargo and vehicles, including the M1A2 Abrams tank, at speeds of up to 40k.