Designated LPD-18, New Orleans is the second ship in the Navy’s new San Antonio class. As a critical element in future expeditionary strike groups, the ship will support the Marine Corps mobility triad, which consists of the LCAC (landing craft air cushion), the expeditionary fighting vehicle, and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22). The ship also provides improved warfighting capabilities including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capacity in vehicle and cargo-carrying capability and advanced ship-survivability features.
Cmdr. John B. –Brad” Skillman, of St. Paris, Ohio, is the first commanding officer of the ship. The ship has a crew of 360 and can embark a landing force of about 800 Marines. Built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Avondale Operations in New Orleans, the ship is 684 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, a navigational draft of 23 feet and displaces about 24,900 tons. Four turbo-charged diesels power the ship to sustained speeds of 22 knots. The ship will be homeported in San Diego.
LCACs, V-22 Ospreys, and Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles? One out of three ain’t bad. Jury’s still out on the Osprey. EFV appears to be nearly swamped at this time.
Here’s a pic of the New Orleans:
The Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) transits under the Huey P. Long Bridge [oops] on the Mississippi River towards New Orleans, La., March 5, 2007, for a March 10 commissioning ceremony. The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock will functionally replace more than 41 classes of amphibious ships, providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms. DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kurt Eischen, U.S. Navy. (Released)
They meant it will “functionally replace four classes of amphibious ships”, not 41 classes. The four classes are LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113, and LST 1179. The total number of ships in those four classes might be 41, though.
PCU New Orleans previously pictured on MO last October. Also, check out the shot of the San Antonio’s (LPD 17) Rolling Air Frame Missile shot during qualifications last summer.
The third ship in the class USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) is scheduled to be commissioned later this year.