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LPD 17 San Antonio

USS San Antonio was commissionned on January 11, 2006.

San Antonio was launched and christened in the spring of 2003. The Pre-Commissioning crew was slated to join the ship in October 2003, and delivery to the Navy was scheduled for November 2004 [as opposed to the original schedule of September 2003].

The hull of the LPD 17, the first San Antonio-Class amphibious assault ship being constructed for the Navy at the Avondale Shipyard, doubled in size between October 2001 and March 2002. More than 60 of the 210 steel modules that form the building blocks of the ship had been put in place, and all four of the ship's huge engines were installed.

USS San Antonio (LPD 17) achieved a major construction milestone in August 2002, when the 105th of its 210 units was erected at the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Avondale shipyard in New Orleans. This milestone marks significant progress since completing the 10-percent milestone just six months ago. The company received a $250,000 performance award for achieving this construction milestone, which was accomplished ahead of schedule.

A unit can be one space, such as the Advanced Enclosed Mast/Sensor, or a group of ship's spaces such as a crew living space, lounge and sanitary facility. Each unit is not just an empty shell when it becomes part of the hull or superstructure. A unit may include distributive systems, such as electrical wiring and/or ventilation ducting that can be more easily connected since they are already inside the unit and designed to fit.

LPD 17's future compatibility with the Marine Corps' 'mobility triad' of Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAAV), Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and the MV-22 Osprey will make it a vital component of CNO's Sea Power 21. Its extensive command and control spaces and 'flagship-like' connectivity will enable the ship class to fully support independent split operations or to serve as an integral part of Amphibious Ready Groups, Joint Task Forces or Expeditionary Strike Groups.

With detail design complete and construction well underway on the lead ship, there has been significant progress in other areas.

In September 1996, then Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton named the first of the new amphibious transport dock ships after the city of San Antonio, Texas. LPD 17 will be the first U.S. Navy ship named after the city of San Antonio, the third largest city of the Lone Star State.

San Antonio was just a small village in Mexico's northern province of Texas when it became the site of a crucial battle in the struggle for Texas' independence. In 1836, the heroic defense of the city's old mission, referred to as the Alamo, became a rallying point for that struggle. The beleaguered defenders of the Alamo delayed Mexican dictator Santa Anna's forces long enough for Sam Houston to train and rally his troops. This delaying action paved the way for the Texan's eventual victory over Santa Anna's men at San Jacinto, which assured their successful fight for Texas independence from Mexico. Today San Antonio is one of America's unique cities with its rich blend of Hispanic and Anglo cultures.

"USS San Antonio will be the most high-tech, advanced amphibious ship ever built. It is an honor for me to name such an important new combat ship after San Antonio, site of the battle of the Alamo. It is also important that we keep alive the tradition of naming ships after American cities," said Secretary of the Navy Dalton at the announcement of the ship's name. "USS San Antonio and the Class of ships to follow will be critical additions to our amphibious fleet."

With the installation of its stern gate and final section of bow, San Antonio (LPD 17) now has the distinctive appearance of an amphibious transport dock. The first of twelve ships of the San Antonio class continues to progress toward its delivery in late 2004. The LPD 17 has an upper stern gate that weighs over 20 tons and a lower stern gate that weighs 53 tons. They are about 78 feet wide and enclose an opening that is about 35 feet high. When opened, these gates provide ample room for launching or recovering LCACs (landing craft, air cushion), an LCU (landing craft utility) or amphibious vehicles such as the Marine Corps' Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle. The ship's well deck and vehicle storage can carry both landing craft and amphibious vehicles and ballast/deballast as necessary.

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Page last modified: 18-06-2014 13:42:56 ZULU