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US Navy FDL Project

Pirate Pete

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I came across the following article from an old Janes Fighting Ships (1969 edition I believe)
If these vessels had been realised, what effect would they have had?
No doubt there would have been an impact on the later LHA prgramme.

Fast Deployment Logistic Ship (FDL):

40,500 tons (FL)
855 x 104 x 28 ft
Steam Turbines – 60,000 shp
2 shafts = 24+ kts

The ships are intended to carry pre-loaded Army combat equipment to overseas areas where the equipment would be “married” to troops flown overseas. Presumably some of the ships would always be deployed overseas as floating depots. According to the Department of Defence the most cost-effective number of FDL ships necessary to meet anticipated requirements of the 1970’s would be 30 operating in conjunction with 4 squadrons of C-141 jet cargo aircraft and six squadrons of C-5 jet cargo aircraft. However, continued reluctance by the Congress to authorise the FDL programme led to a revised proposal by the D.o.D in 1968 to build on 15 FDL’s and obtain the balance of the sealift requirement through the long-term charter of up to 30 new cargo ships to be privately built according to the design criteria specified by the Navy’s Military Transportation Service.
The first FDL’s originally were requested in the Fiscal Year 1966 shipbuilding programme and each year since then, but at this writing (1969) had not been funded by Congress.
The Fiscal Year 1970 programme requests $ 187m for the construction of three ships with the remaining 12 ships planned for F.Y. 1971-73 (four ships per year). Estimated cost per ship is $ 52m.

Cargo:
Each ship could lift 11,100 tons of material including tanks, helicopters, and heavy engineering equipment. Twelve FDL’s could lift the equipment of a reinforced infantry division, a task which would otherwise require 33 C-5 merchant ships (D.o.D estimate).

Construction:
Litton Systems Inc. Of Culver City, California won the design competition for these ships, submitting the best technical proposal which included the factors of ship design efficiency and ship life-cycle cost. Should the Congress approve construction of these ships the Navy would enter in to contract negotiations with Litton for the actual construction of the ships; if negotiations with Litton were unsatisfactory there would be open competition amongst eligible shipbuilders. (Litton owns the Ingalls shipbuilding yard in Pascagoula but it is also constructing a new yard in the area to build the LHA amphibious assault ship; presumably Litton would also construct the LDL ships t this new yard).

Design:
These ships have their superstructure aft with the forward deck suitable for the operating of cargo carrying helicopters. There is a stern ramp for unloading amphibious vehicles and side entries for roll-on roll-off loading and unloading when piers are available. Vehicles and other equipment are stowed in dehumidified conditions and special fuel distribution and ventilation systems allow the vehicles to be fuelled of defueled in any of the loading holds. Cranes, elevators, and ramps will speed loading and unloading.

Engineering:
A bow thrusters and stern thrusters are provided to assist docking operations when tugs are not available.

Personnel:
These ships will be manned by civilian MSTS crews with a small Army detachment carried onboard to service the vehicles.
 

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TomS

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I doubt it would have had much impact on LHA. Although FDL was dropped, the same basic need was filled by the Afloat Prepositioning Force that was fielded in the 1980s. APF was made from a mix of existing, modified, and new-build ships, but the general capabilities are very similar to what FDL was supposed to bring (less some aviation support), just a few knots slower.

There are major differences between the design of cargo ships like the FDLs and assault transports like the LHAs. Most obvious are

1) Amphibs have long-term troop accomodations, while the FDls and APF ships have none.
2) Amphibs have aircraft hangars and aviation support, while the cargo ships have only flight decks.
3) Amphibs are designed to warship damage control standards, while cargo ships are not.
 

mz

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FDL... I already pictured some sleek hypersonic lifting body landing on a carrier! :)
 

Triton

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Thank you for posting information about this interesting concept pf matthews. :)

From what I have read from additional sources, the Fast Deployment Logistic Ship is also abbreviated FDLS.

According to Jane's Fighting Ships, the ships would be crewed by civilians and operated by the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), the former name of Military Sealift Command (MSC). I presume that had they been built, the 30 or 15 FDL ships would have been part of the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force and would have been given a United States Navy Ship (USNS) prefix instead of a United States Ship (USS) prefix. I wonder what naming conventions would have been used for these ships. Since they would carry US Army soldiers, perhaps recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross or US Army recipients of the Medal of Honor posthumously awarded? Names of famous battles in which the United States Army was victorious?
 

TomS

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As with the current ships in the same role, the FDLS would certainly have been MSC ships. They would not have been in the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force, since that is intended for underway replenishment and related ships, but rather in the Strategic Sealift & Prepositioning program, which is where the current ships of this type are organized. And as with the current ships, I'm sure the FDL ships would have been named after Army Medal of Honor winners. (Additional FDL-type ships woudl probably have also been used for the Marine Prepositioning force, which today are largely named for Marine Corps Medal of Honor winners.)

Just to clarify something, these ships would not have actually carried Army troops, other than a small team to maintain the stored equipment. The troops would fly out separately to meet up with equipment at their port of debarkation.
 

RyanCrierie

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There are 114 boxes of information related to the FDL Program at Archives II under RG-344 (NAVSHIPS) in Item S-11 under ARC ID 1257365

Box:
1 FDL Weight Report
2 FDL Preliminary Design Summary (folder 1 of 2)
3 FDL Preliminary Design Summary (folder 2 of 2)
4 FDL Design Summary
5 FDL References
6 FDL Ship Validation Summary
7 FDL Design Summary Memo
8 FDL Hold
9 FDL Drawings
10 FDL Photographs of Drawings
11 FDL Correspondence (folder 1 of 2)
12 FDL Correspondence (folder 2 of 2)
13 FDL Contract Definition (folder 1 of 2)
14 FDL Contract Definition (folder 2 of 2)
15 FDL Special Support Ship Studies
16 FDL Preliminary Design Contract
17 FDL Test Report
18 FDL Structual Calculations
19 FDL Feasibility Study
20 FDL Diesel & Stern Well
21 FDL Form Data
22 FDL CAN-Land Campaign Logisitics Support Ship (folder 1 of 2)
23 FDL CAN-Land Campaign Logistics Support Ship (folder 2 of 2)
24 FDL Data
25 FDL Study Phase Plan
26 FDL Time & Cost in Shipbuilding (folder 1 of 2)
27 FDL Time & Cost in Shipbuilding
28 FDL Detail Sheets (folder 1 of 2)
29 FDL Detail Sheets (folder 2 of 2)
30 FDL Ship Characteristics
31 FDL Transparencies of Design & Other Data
32 FDL Submission of Profile Drawings
33 FDL Army Load List (folder 1 of 2)
34 FDL Army Load List (folder 2 of 2)
35 FDL Army Load List (folder 1 of 2)
36 FDL Army Load List (folder 2 of 2)
37 FDL Definition Contract (folder 1 of 2)
38 FDL Definition Contract (folder 2 of 2)
39 FDL Total Package Proposal Vol. II Sec. 1 (folder 1 of 2)
40 FDL Total Package Proposal Vol. II Sec. 1 (folder 2 of 2)
41 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 2, Part B
42 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 2 Part C
43 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 2 Part D
44 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 2 Part E
45 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 2 Part F
46 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 2 Part G (folder 1 of 3)
47 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 2 Part G (folder 2 of 3)
48 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 2 Part G (folder 3 of 3)
49 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec 2 Part H
50 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 3
51 FDL Technical Content of Ship Design Doc. 1-1 (folder 1 of 3)
52 FDL Technical Content of Ship Design Doc. 1-1 (folder 2 of 3)
53 FDL Technical Content of Ship Design Doc. 1-1 (folder 3 of 3)
54 FDL Ship System Doc. 2-1
55 FDL Ship Subsystem Summaries Doc. 2-2-1 Part 1 of 3 (folder 1 of 3)
56 FDL Ship Subsystem Summaries Doc. 2-2-1 Part 1 of 3 (folder 2 of 3)
57 FDL Ship Subsystem Summaries Doc 2-2-1 Part 1 of 3 (folder 3 of 3)
58 FDL Ship Subsystem Summaries Doc. 2-2-1 (folder 1 of 3)
59 FDL Ship Subsystem Summaries Doc. 2-2-1 (folder 2 of 3)
60 FDL Ship Subsystem Summaries Doc. 2-2-1 (folder 3 of 3)
61 FDL Ship Subsystem Summaries Appendix B Doc. 2-2-3 (folder 1 of 2)
62 FDL Ship Subsystem Summaries Appendix B Doc. 2-2-3 (folder 2 of 2)
63 FDL Inter-system Trade-off Analysis Doc. 2-3-1 Part 1 of 2 (folder 1 of 2)
64 FDL Inter-system Trade-off Analysis Doc. 2-3-1 Part 1 of 2 (folder 2 of 2)
65 FDL Inter-system Trade-off Analysis Doc. 2-3-1 Part 2 of 2 (folder 1 of 2)
66 FDL Inter-system Trade-off Analysis Doc. 2-3-1 Part 2 of 2 (folder 2 of 2)
67 FDL Preliminary Specifications Doc. 4-3-1 Book 1 of 4 (folder 1 of 3)
68 FDL Preliminary Specifications Doc. 4-3-1 Book 1 of 4 (folder 2 of 3)
69 FDL Preliminary Specifications Doc. 4-3-1 Book 1 of 4 (folder 3 of 3)
70 FDL Preliminary Specifications Doc. 4-3-2 Book 2 of 4 (folder 1 of 3)
71 FDL Preliminary Specifications Doc. 4-3-2 Book 2 of 4 (folder 2 of 3)
72 FDL Preliminary Specifications Doc. 4-3-2 Book 2 of 4 (folder 3 of 3)
73 FDL Preliminary Specification Doc. 4-3-3 Book 3 of 4 (folder 1 of 3)
74 FDL Preliminary Specification Doc. 4-3-3 Book 3 of 4 (folder 2 of 3)
75 FDL Preliminary Specification Doc. 4-3-3 Book 3 of 4 (folder 3 of 3)
76 FDL Preliminary Specification Doc. 4-3-4 Book 4 of 4
77 FDL Configuration Development 2-1-7
78 FDL Seaworthiness Evaluation 2-1-8
79 FDL Seakeeping Study 2-1-9
80 FDL Structural Study
81 FDL Damage Stability Study
82 FDL Effects of Ice Strengthening
83 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 1 (folder 1 of 3)
84 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 1 (folder 2 of 3)
85 FDL Technical Report Vol. II Sec. 1 (folder 3 of 3)
86 FDL Technical Report, Hull Structure Vol. II Sec. 2.1 Part 1
87 FDL Technical Report, Hull Structure Vol. II Sec. 2.1 Part 2
88 FDL Technical Report, Propulsion Subsystem Vol. II Sec. 2.2 (folder 1 of 2)
89 FDL Technical Report, Propulsion Subsystem Vol. II Sec. 2.2 (folder 2 of 2)
90 FDL Technical Report, Electrical Plant Vol. II Sec. 2.3
91 FDL Technical Report, Communication Vol. II Sec. 2.4 (folder 1 of 3)
92 FDL Technical Report, Communication Vol. II Sec. 2.4 (folder 2 of 3)
93 FDL Technical Report, Communication Vol. II Sec. 2.4 (folder 3 of 3)
94 FDL Technical Report, Auxilary Systems Vol. II Sec. 2.5 Part 1 (folder 1 of 2)
95 FDL Technical Report, Auxilary Systems Vol. II Sec 2.5 Part 1 (folder 2 of 2)
96 FDL Technical Report, Auxiliary Systems Vol. II Sec. 2.5 Part 2
97 FDL Technical Report, Outfit & Furnishings Vol. II Sec. 2.6
98 FDL Technical Report, Cargo Systems Vol. II Sec. 2.7 Part 1 (folder 1 of 2)
99 FDL Technical Report, Cargo System Vol. II Sec. 2.7 Part 1 (folder 2 of 2)
100 FDL Technical Report, Cargo System Vol. II Sec. 2.7 Part 2 (folder 1 of 2)
101 FDL Technical Report, Cargo System Vol. II Sec. 2.7 Part 2 (folder 2 of 2)
102 FDL Technical Report, Cargo Systems Vol. II Sec. 2.7 Part 3 (folder 1 of 2)
103 FDL Technical Report, Cargo System Vol. II Sec. 2.7 Part 3 (folder 2 of 2)
104 FDL Technical Report, Cargo Systems Vol. II Sec. 2.7 Part 3A (folder 1 of 2)
105 FDL Technical Report, Cargo System Vol. II Sec. 2.7 Part 3A (folder 2 of 2)
106 FDL Technical Report, Subsystems Vol. II Sec. 2.8
107 FDL Technical Report, Appendices to Vol. II Sec. 2.8
108 FDL Technical Report, Ship Design Variations Vol. II Sec. 2.9 (folder 1 of 2)
109 FDL Technical Report, Ship Design Variations Vol. II Sec. 2.9 (folder 2 of 2)
110 FDL Technical Report, Trade-off Analysis Vol. III Sec. 3, Part 1 (folder 1 of 3)
111 FDL Technical Report, Trade-off Analysis Vol. III Sec. 3 Part 1 (folder 2 of 3)
112 FDL Technical Report, Trade-off Analysis Vol. III Sec.3 Part 1 (folder 3 of 3)
113 FDL Techncial Report, Trade-off Analysis Vol. III Sec. 3 Part 2 (folder 1 of 2)
114 FDL Technical Report - Trade-off Analysis Vol. III Sec. 3 Part 2 (folder 2 of 2)
 

uk 75

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Does anyone have any more images of the FDL other than the one above in Janes?
 

PMN1

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RyanCrierie said:
There are 114 boxes of information related to the FDL Program at Archives II under RG-344 (NAVSHIPS) in Item S-11 under ARC ID 1257365


20 FDL Diesel & Stern Well

Isn't the term well normally associated with floodable dock type vessel?
 

Grey Havoc

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PMN1 said:
RyanCrierie said:
There are 114 boxes of information related to the FDL Program at Archives II under RG-344 (NAVSHIPS) in Item S-11 under ARC ID 1257365


20 FDL Diesel & Stern Well

Isn't the term well normally associated with floodable dock type vessel?

Were some of the FDLs perhaps intended to be able to carry and operate barges? Or maybe just have a general limited FO-FO (Float on/Float off) capability?
 

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