New class of Navy ships will support MV-22 Osprey
By Chris Mazzolini
The New Bern (NC) Sun Journal
Flagship vessel costs as much as $1.2 billion, according to data
JACKSONVILLE -- A new class of Navy ships will soon help Marines do what
they do best: float or fly to a combat zone.
The USS San Antonio, the flagship of a new class of amphibious ships,
arrived at its home port of Norfolk, Va., for the first time this month.
Navy officials say the ship, which cost as much as $1.2 billion and has
been in the works since as early as 1996, will support Marine Corps
capabilities better than any previous vessel.
"It's designed to support Marine Corps expeditionary operations," said
Lt. Cmdr. Charles Owens, a Navy spokesman. "It's the lead ship in the
class and it's got the latest and greatest technology."
The 684-foot, 25,000-ton ship will be capable of operating as part of a
variety of strike forces, and can carry a landing force of as many as
Most importantly, it's capable of supporting the war vehicles of the
future. The ship is designed to support the MV-22 Osprey, the $71
billion aircraft that can fly like a helicopter or an airplane and that
will be ready for combat use sometime in 2007. It will also be able to
carry 14 Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles, the upgraded Amphibious
Assault Vehicle that is expected to be ready for deployment in 2008.
Other designs were made with leathernecks in mind, as well. The ship's
passageways, for example, are wide enough for fully geared Marines.
Also, the racks are no longer stacked four high and give occupants a bit
more head room. The ship's new-fangled water system with be able to
produce 72,000 gallons of potable water each day.
After a stop for the holidays in Norfolk, the ship will travel to
Ingleside, Texas, for its Jan. 14 commissioning ceremony. Then it could
be more than a year before the ship begins to benefit Marine Corps
"They have to go through a phase where they train as an individual unit
for crew qualifications and ship qualifications," said Owens. "Then
there's training as a strike group. It's a process that can take
anywhere from 12 to 18 months."
USS San Antonio. Yay!
Billion dollar LPD's?
They need something that expensive to go with the
And I thought the B-2s were expensive.