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LPD 4 Austin class 

Overview   

Specifications
Ships
Images
Sources and Resources

The LPD 4 Austin class of ship combines the functions of three different classes of ships; the landing ship (LSD), the tank landing ship (LST), and the attack cargo ship (LKA). The Amphibious Transport, Dock, is used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked landing craft or amphibious vehicles augmented by helicopters in amphibious assault.

Although their capabilities are less than those of the new LSD-41 class, the ships of the Austin class, built between 1965-1971, were considered sufficiently modern to have their service lives extended, and the Navy had planned to inaugurate an overhaul program for all 11 of them commencing in early 1988. Their modernization could have extended their service lives to 2005. However, Congress did not authorize funding for the program. Although the predecessor LPD-1 Raleigh class was retired after three decades of service, the ships of this class will remain in service for nearly four decades until they are replaced by the LPD-17 class beginning in 2003. 

These ships are configured as a flagship and provide extensive command, control and communications facilities to support an Amphibious Task Force Commander and Landing Force Commander. In an amphibious assault, the ship would normally function as the Primary Control Ship that would be responsible for coordinating boat waves and vectoring landing craft to the beach.

A secondary mission is evacuation and civilian disaster relief. Hundreds of tons of relief materials can be carried aboard and can be delivered to disaster victims within minutes of the ship's arrival on the scene. The ships' medical and dental facilities can provide limited hospitalization care, as well as out-patient treatment for hundreds of sick or injured. 

USS SHREVEPORT departed Norfolk VA on June 8, 1998 as for Exercise MARCOT/Unified Spirit. SHREVEPORT, acting as Advanced Force Command ship, along with several other ships, was a test platform for the new Joint Countermine Application (JCA). JCA is a JMCIS application being developed to support all aspects of countermine warfare. The JCA’s functions include collection and distribution of the mine countermeasure picture, allowing units to receive and analyze data. 

The ships have has a large flight deck for helicopter operations and a well deck that carries amphibious landing vehicles. The ships can carry one landing craft air cushion (LCAC), or one utility landing craft (LCU) boat, or four mechanized landing craft (LCU), and six CH-46 amphibious transport helicopters, or three CH-53 helicopters, and over 800 combat troops. They can also cary 2,000 tons of supplies and equipment, all in addition to her crew of 400 officers and enlisted men. 

The LPD 4 Austin class has a helicopter platform built over a well deck in the rear of the vessel. This provides the tactical advantage of being able to lift troops, their combat equipment and supplies onto the same ship. Therefore, the ship contributes to all phases of the amphibious assault.  Return to Top

The well decks are upper and lower vehicle storage areas, which hold most of the embarked troops' heavy combat equipment, such as tanks, tracked amphibious landing vehicles (AAV), jeeps and trucks. The well deck is capable of holding one (1) LCU or one (1) LCAC and two (2) LARC-5. A mix of LCM-8 and LCM-6 is possible up to four (4) LCM-8 or two (2) LCM-8 and three (3) LCM-6. To facilitate the docking and loading of various sized landing craft, the ship can ballast down in the water, thereby flooding the well deck with enough water to enable the landing craft to enter the well deck through the stern gate door. Once docked inside the well deck, troops, supplies and combat equipment can be loaded into or off of the amphibious boats and vehicles while simultaneously transporting troops and equipment via helicopter from the flight deck.

The ships can simultaneously land or launch two (2) H-1, H-2 , H-3, CH-46, CH-53 type aircraft from the landing spots on the flight deck. The ship is certified for expanded flight deck operations and four (4) H-1 or two (2) H-1 and one (1) H-46 type aircraft can be on deck and turning at the same time. All helicopters will be launched or landed one at a time. One AV-8 can be landed under VFR conditions during daylight hours only.

Propulsion consists of two Foster Wheeler 600 psi boilers, powering two De Laval GT turbines, driving two propellers, providing 12,000 Shaft Horsepower (SHP) each. The four electrical power generators, which are powered by the steam from the boilers, can generate enough electricity to power a city of 26,000 people. The ships have laundry and pressing services, barbershop, ship's store, disbursing, administration, post office, library, welding shop, machinery repair shop, valve shop, diesel engine repair shop, AC&R shop, two evaporators capable of 25,000 gallons of water a day, each. The ships have their own doctor and dentists, with a twelve bed medical ward, bacteriological laboratory, X-ray facilities, sterilizing room and dental operatory. Storerooms and refrigerated spaces, can subsist 1,500 crew members for 60 days, or 500 men for 90 days.

 

Specifications  Return to Top

Power plant Two boilers, two steam turbines, two shafts, 24,000 shaft horsepower
Length Overall Length: 569 ft
Waterline Length: 548 ft
Beam Extreme Beam: 105 ft
Waterline Beam: 84 ft
Draft Maximum Navigational Draft: 22 ft
Draft Limit: 23 ft
Ballasted: 34 feet
Displacement Light Displacement: 9201 tons
Full Displacement: 16914 tons
Dead Weight: 7713 tons
Speed 21 knots (24.2 mph, 38.7 kph)
Aircraft Up to six CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
Well Deck Capacity: 1 - Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC), or
1 - Landing Craft, Utility (LCU), or
4 - LCM-8 Landing Craft, Mechanized (LCM), or
9 - LCM-6 Landing Craft, Mechanized (LCM), or
24 AAV Amphibious Assault Vehicle
Crew Ship's Company: 420 (24 officers, 396 enlisted)
Marine Detachment: 900
Combat Systems SPS-40 - Air Search Radar
SPS-60 - Surface Search Radar
SPS-64 - Navigational Radar
Furuno - Navigational Radar
Armament 2 - 25mm Mk 38 guns
2 - Phalanx CIWS
8 - .50-calibre machine guns.
Unit cost $235-419 million
Unit Operating Cost
Annual Average
~$22,500,000 [source: [FY1996 VAMOSC]

Ships  Return to Top

Name Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned
Austin LPD 4 NYNSY Norfolk 21 Sep 1961 06 Feb 1965 ~2003
Ogden LPD 5 NYNSY San Diego 21 Sep 1961 23 Sep 1965 ~2004
Duluth LPD 6 NYNSY San Diego 21 Sep 1961 31 Jan 1966 ~2004
Cleveland LPD 7 Ingalls San Diego 25 Jan 1963 03 Apr 1967 ~2005
Dubuque LPD 8 Ingalls San Diego 25 Jan 1963 21 Aug 1967 ~2005
Denver LPD 9 Lockheed San Diego 23 May 1963 18 Oct 1968 ~2006
Juneau LPD 10 Lockheed Sasebo 23 May 1963 07 Jul 1969 ~2006
Coronado AGF-11 Lockheed          
Shreveport LPD 12 Lockheed Norfolk 15 May 1964 01 Dec 1970 ~2007
Nashville LPD 13 Lockheed Norfolk 15 May 1964 26 Dec 1969 ~2007
Trenton LPD 14 Lockheed Norfolk 17 May 1965 12 Feb 1971 ~2008
Ponce LPD 15 Lockheed Norfolk 17 May 1965 25 Jun 1971 ~2008
  LPD 16     1966 CANCELLED Feb 1969
 
Images   Return to Top
 

Sources and Resources   Return to Top

  • DUBUQUE Making Final Preparations to Come Home COMNAVSURFPAC Press Release 99-345 -- The Navy's first ever crew swap exchange of command took place between the former San Diego based crew of USS JUNEAU (LPD 10) and the former Sasebo-based crew of USS DUBUQUE (LPD 8). Although the ships exchanged homeports, the crews and their families did not have to permanently move to new homeports. Typically, when a ship moves to a new homeport, the Navy relocates the crew and their families along with the vessel. Although both ships are Austin-class amphibious transport docks, the two vessels were built in different shipyards and have undergone modifications and maintenance in different homeports.
  • USS JUNEAU ON VERGE OF COMPLETING FIRST-EVER CREW SWAP EXCHANGE OF COMMAND COMNAVSURFPAC Press Release 99-317 -- The crew of the amphibious transport dock USS JUNEAU (LPD 10) is on the verge of making history as they make their final preparations in the Navy's first-ever crew swap exchange of command.
  • USS Juneau to be forward-deployed Navnews 03 November 1998
  • USS Austin (LPD 4) - Navysite.de - Unofficial US Navy page
  • Amphibious Transport Dock - LPD - US Navy Fact File