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LX(R)

Triton

Donald McKelvy
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"Different Missions Might Await New USN Amphib"
Nov. 12, 2012 - 12:32PM
by CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS

Source:
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121112/DEFREG02/311120014/Different-Missions-Might-Await-New-USN-Amphib

U.S. amphibious warfare ships often have been pressed into a variety of roles beyond those of carrying Marines and their gear and taking part in beach assaults. Now, the design of the Navy’s next amphib might itself be adapted to different missions and requirements.

That’s the thinking behind a recent decision to change the name of the next amphibious ship program from LSD(X) — representing a replacement for today’s landing ship docks — to LX(R), reflecting a ship that can be adapted to even more roles.

“It’s an effort by the Navy to not confine themselves to looking at a ship configured just for amphibious work,” said one knowledgeable source.

“It gives you the option to look at everything,” said Cmdr. George Doyon of the service’s Amphibious Warfare Branch. “LSD(X) kind of narrowed the focus. Changing the name opens up the aperture.”

Plans now call for ordering the first 11 ships of the new type in 2019, but the Navy is nearly ready to begin the analysis of alternatives (AoA) process to determine the requirements for the ship and how best to meet them.

The baseline for the ships is drawn by the existing LSD 41 Whidbey Island and LSD 49 Harpers Ferry-class ships, Doyon said.

“The AoA is going to do lots of excursions and vignettes off of that to look at the full spectrum, of what is it we want as a service for that replacement to be,” he said during a Nov. 9 interview.

Options range from the low end of ships with current LSD capability, he said, to that of the LPD 17 San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks, which carry more troops and aircraft than an LSD, but fewer vehicles or small landing craft.

Asked if there were any specific designs being considered, Doyon demurred.

“We’ve seen all kinds of art from industry,” he said, “but we haven’t even defined our requirements yet. I can’t comment on industry proposals because we haven’t even defined what our requirement is.”

One industry idea that has been quietly put forth is an “LPD 17 Flight II” concept from Huntington Ingalls, which builds all the Navy’s amphibious ships.

A Flight II handout shows a ship with about 3,000 tons cut out of the 25,000-ton LPD 17 design, eliminating the bigger ship’s aircraft hangar, large enclosed masts and reducing the superstructure.

“As we are a shipbuilder, our job is not to identify requirements but to build what the Navy requires to execute their missions,” Bill Glenn, a spokesman for the shipbuilder, wrote in an email. “By making some changes to the basic LPD design we believe that we can offer the Navy a very robust platform that can perform amphibious warfare missions, maintain Level 2 survivability for our Sailors and Marines and reduce the cost from the current LPD.”

The LPD 17 hull form, Glenn wrote, “can accommodate many missions, such as amphibious warfare, humanitarian operations, joint command and control, ballistic missile defense (BMD), and [serve as] a hospital ship.”

Ships built for those missions have been considered at various levels by the Navy. The service now has two command ships and two hospital ships, all of which have proved useful but are in need of replacement.

Had Mitt Romney won the presidential election, his defense team said, a dedicated BMD ship would have become a priority, and one idea was to base such a ship on the LPD 17. The current Navy leadership, however, does not appear to be considering such a project.

The LX(R) AoA is expected to officially begin before the end of December, Doyon said, and be completed by next September.
 

Triton

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"Marines: Next Generation LX(R) Capacity Key to Operating America-class Amphibious Ready Groups"
By: Sam LaGrone
June 5, 2015 1:57 PM • Updated: June 5, 2015 4:00 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2015/06/05/marines-next-generation-lxr-capacity-key-to-operating-america-class-amphibious-ready-groups

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The capacity the planned LX(R) amphibious warship will bring to the Navy and Marine Corps Amphibious Ready Groups (ARG) will be key to operating the first two aviation-centric America-class big deck amphibs, the Marines’ aviation head said this week.

Built without welldecks and the capacity to launch Marine landing craft, 45,000-ton USS America (LHA-6) and the under-construction Tripoli (LHA-7) will need the amphibious lift capacity of the current 25,000-ton San Antonio-class (LPD-17) and the under development LX(R) to make up for the loss, said Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, on Wednesday.

“The America-class ship was built without a well deck — that’s why LX(R) is so important,” Davis said at a Wednesday Navy and Marine Corps aviation forum sponsored by the Navy League.
“The bottom line is the LPD-17 and LX(R) with a welldeck will cover for that.”

Under current Marine doctrine, an amphibious assault generally requires two-thirds of the force to reach land via landing craft and one-third move through the air (the two-thirds drive, one-third flies doctrine).

The Department of the Navy decided to include welldecks in the remainder of the class beginning with the unnamed LHA-8 in the last several years.

The benefit to an ARG centered on America or Tripoli is the additional mission load allowance (MLA) for the aviation detachment of the embarked Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit (ARG/MEU) and more support to newer aircraft like the Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, the emerging Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallions heavy lift helicopters and the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

“What those two ships give us is a much larger sized MLA for the [aviation] components and much greater supply of aviation fuel onboard,” he said.

“[They are] designed for more power projection from those decks with a V-22 or a [CH-]53K and obviously optimized for the F-35 strike fighter operations and you’ll want to match that ship with a LPD-17 class boat and a LX(R).”

Based on the San Antonio hull, LX(R) will eventually replace the current crop of Whidbey Island and Harpers Ferry 16,000-ton and 11,000-ton landing ship docks (LSD-41/49).

Earlier this year the Navy announced an acquisition strategy that would combine the competition for LHA-8, six T-AO(X) fleet oilers and LX(R) into a competition between LPD-17 builder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and General Dynamics NASSCO.
 

bobbymike

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http://news.usni.org/2015/11/05/navy-lxr-will-be-cheaper-more-capable-thanks-to-using-san-antonio-lpd-design-as-starting-point
 

bobbymike

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https://news.usni.org/2016/04/14/document-report-to-congress-on-next-generation-lxr-amphibious-warship-3
 

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