LPD 17 milestone
Northrop Grumman Corporation recently achieved an integral milestone in the construction of San Antonio, the lead ship in the Navy's new LPD 17 Class of amphibious transport dock ships. when it completed early landing of all four main propulsion engines and three of five power generators on their foundations.
The ship is scheduled for delivery in November 2004. While being erected in New Orleans, sections of San Antonio are also being built at Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss., facilities.
"This program is of vital importance to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps," said Philip A. Dur, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the Ship Systems sector. "We are now well on our way to building the Navy's finest amphibious transport dock ship. We are striving to outperform our customer's expectations."
As prime contractor for the LPD 17 program, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems leads a team that includes General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works, Raytheon Electronic Systems and Intergraph Corporation.
San Antonio's main engines include four Colt-Pielstick turbo-charged diesel engines of 10,400 hp each. Each set of two engines is paired with a Philadelphia Gear Corp. main reduction gear, which in turn drives two shafts with Bird Johnson five-blade controllable pitch propellers. A new high-power, low-drag propeller hub design provides improved propulsion efficiency. The ship's top speed is in excess of 22 knots.
San Antonio's electrical power will be provided by five 2500 kW Caterpillar diesel generator sets. The ship also features all-electric auxiliaries, including electric heating and electric water heaters for improved crew habitability, reliability and reduced sailor maintenance.
The LPD 17 amphibious transport dock ships will be 684 feet long and 105 feet wide. All 12 ships of the LPD-17 Class will be the functional replacements for 32 LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships, providing a substantial cost savings to the Navy.
Their amphibious warfare mission involves rapidly embarking, transporting and landing elements of an assault by helicopter, large hovercraft and amphibious vehicle. The ships will have a crew of 361 officers and sailors and will transport more than 700 combat-ready Marines.
Four ships have been awarded in the 12-ship program to date, with eight additional ships planned over the next several years.
Start of production of LPD 17 followed a 36-month period of design, material procurement and engineering. Through the use of extensive automation, advanced materials and equipment, and reduced crew size, the ships are designed for the lowest possible operating and maintenance costs during their lifetime in the fleet. More than $4 billion in total ownership cost savings have been identified thus far for the 12-ship class over its 40-year life span.
Pre-fabrication of New Orleans (LPD 18) began in February and its keel is scheduled to be laid in September.