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Report to Congress on Navy LPD-17 Flight II (LX(R)) Amphibious Ship Program

The following is the Aug. 1, 2018, Congressional Research Service report, Navy LPD-17 Flight II (LX[R]) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report:

The LPD-17 Flight II program, previously known as the LX(R) program, is a program to build 13 new amphibious ships for the Navy. The Navy had planned to procure the first LPD-17 Flight II ship in FY2020. Congress, as part of its action on the Navy’s proposed FY2018 budget, accelerated the procurement of the first LPD17 Flight II ship to FY2018.

Within a Navy shipbuilding program, the term flight refers to a group of ships built to a particular design version. The LPD-17 Flight II ships are to constitute the second version of the Navy’s San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship design. Compared to the original (i.e., Flight I) LPD-17 design, the Flight II design is somewhat less expensive and in some ways less capable. In many other respects, the LPD-17 Flight II design is similar in appearance and capabilities to the LPD17 Flight I design. The Flight II design was developed to meet Navy and Marine Corps operational requirements while staying within a unit procurement cost target established by the Navy.

A total of 13 LPD-17 Flight I ships (LPDs 17 through 29) were procured between FY1996 and FY2017. The final two Flight I ships (LPDs 28 and 29) incorporate some design changes that make them transitional ships between the Flight I design and the Flight II design.

The LPD-17 Flight II ship procured in FY2018 will be designated LPD-30, and subsequent ships will be designated LPD-31, LPD-32, and so on. Whether the LPD-17 Flight II ships constitute their own shipbuilding program or an extension of the original LPD-17 shipbuilding program might be a matter of perspective. As a matter of convenience, this CRS report refers to the Flight II shipbuilding effort as a program. Years from now, LPD-17 Flight I and Flight II ships might be referred to collectively as either the LPD-17 class, the LPD-17/30 class, or the LPD-17 and LPD30 classes.

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding (HII/Ingalls) of Pascagoula, MS, is the builder of LPD-17 Flight I ships. On April 6, 2018, the Navy announced that it intends to issue a solicitation on a sole-source basis to HII/Ingalls for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of LPD-30.

The Navy’s FY2019 budget submission, which was submitted before Congress finalized its action on the Navy’s FY2018 budget, does not request procurement of an LPD-17 Flight II ship in FY2019, and does not request any procurement or advance procurement (AP) funding for the
LPD-17 Flight II program in FY2019. It programs the procurement of an LPD-17 Flight II ship in FY2020. Under the Navy’s original plan, the ship programmed for procurement in FY2020 was to be the first Flight II ship. With the first Flight II ship having been procured in FY2018, the Flight II ship scheduled for procurement in FY2020 would be the second Flight II ship.

Issues for Congress for FY2019 for the LPD-17 Flight II program include the following:

  • whether to accelerate the procurement of the second LPD-17 Flight II ship (i.e., LPD-31) from FY2020 to FY2019; and
  • the Navy’s intent to issue a solicitation for LPD-30 on a sole-source basis, and the Navy’s plans for controlling costs and achieving good production quality and schedule adherence in the LPD-17 Flight II program in a sole-source contracting environment.


via fas.org

  • RunningBear

    “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, Isn’t it silly to call a LSD a LPD? Regardless of the hull form, the ships are not performing the same functions or capabilities. Sadly these will not support 4 LCACs, as the Whidbey Island LSDs they are to replace.

    LSD – A dock landing ship.. is an amphibious warfare ship with a well dock to transport and launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles.
    LPD – An amphibious transport dock.. is an amphibious warfare ship with a well dock that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions.

    LSD – “Gear in the rear”, no helo hanger; tanks, artillery, trucks, water, food, fuel, ammunition, (etc., toilet paper!) and fewer troops (vehicle crews).

    IMHO
    🙂

    • DaSaint

      Unfortunate that fewer LCAC will be carried, but the reality is that most assault will be from the air. Maneuver warfare is just faster these days and in the future. Still need an amphibious capability, and that is still preserved, but the trend is clear – and accepted by the Marines.

      • RunningBear

        It’s going to be tough to haul that M-1 Abrams beneath a helo! The other freight hauled by the LCACs will runout the jetfuel for the freight helos, it’s simple BTUs to work. Inspite of the airborne, sooner or later the beachhead will be made. Here me being an airedale!

        IMHO
        🙂

        • vetww2

          I pictiured “JOE”boats, which would be much larger and about the size of the Russkies SUBR class hovercraft. These boats were designed by Jim Shuler (who designed the Jeff boats(now LCAC), and the smaller personnell only “JIM” boats which were all named after his sons.

    • vetww2

      good explanation. My point is, neither design meets the requirements of the future situations. The ships to be designed for LCAC, ADMINISTRATIVE lndings and docking require
      1. Through loading,
      2. No space eating wet well.
      3. Shore placement option.
      4. Large cargo capacity
      5. Helo operational capability, (Not support).
      6. Troop carry and support
      7. Command ship facility (optional)

  • DaSaint

    Will be interesting to see if at the end of the day, an 8-cell or 2 8-cell Mk41 VLS will be installed. Clearly ESSM will be carried, but other payloads could as well.

    • RunningBear

      If it floats, it fights!, I totally agree.
      🙂

  • Rocco

    Doesn’t the meaning of 2 ND flight mean more capabilities as in the Burke’s??

  • Ed L

    Well just add and extra LSD and or LPD to the Amphibious squadron three ship Squadrons have little to no flexibility. Back when we had 4 to 5 ships amphibious squadrons we routinely would split into 2 groups