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New class of Navy ships will support MV-22 Osprey

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  • New class of Navy ships will support MV-22 Osprey

    December 21,2005
    BY Chris Mazzolini
    Freedom ENC
    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 800 Marines.

    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 operations.

    "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."

    Chris Mazzolini can be reached at or at 353-1171, Ext. 229.

  • #2
    Other sites

    Interesting reading, you can also try this site for more information:
    David "Butch" Powell HMM-262 RVN 70-71


    • #3
      Not a very big ship; they must be building a lot of them!
      Semper Fi