The SAN ANTONIO class is being designed and built to fight. Its warfighting capabilities include a state-of-the-art command and control suite, substantially increased vehicle lift capacity, a large flight deck, and advanced ship survivability features that enhance its ability to operate in the unforgiving littoral environment. The deployment of LPD-18 will provide each naval expeditionary force with greatly enhanced operational flexibility. The LPD-18 can operate as part of an Amphibious Task Force - the "workhorse" of a three-ship ARG - organized to accomplish a broad range of military objectives; or as an element of a "Split-ARG" that has the LPD-18 detached and operating as a single ship, supporting lower-risk operations. The LPD-18 should also feature prominently in future Expeditionary Strike Groups as part of CNO's Seapower 21 vision. This mission flexibility fully expands the ARGs area of influence by providing an improved capability to cover multiple areas of responsibility, while responding to several crises simultaneously.
Improved LIFT - strategic and tactical - is critical to the sustainment of power projection operations. The SAN ANTONIO class is the functional replacement for four classes of less capable amphibious ships equipped with 1970's and early 1980's technology, including its predecessor, the USS AUSTIN (LPD-4) class. Each LPD-17 class ship has 25,000 square feet of vehicle storage space, similar to the larger WASP (LHD-1) class multi-purpose assault ship and double that of the LPD-4.
The LPD-17 ships are the first amphibious ships designed to accommodate the Marine Corps' "mobility triad" - Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAAV), Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), and the Marine Corps' new tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey - for high-speed, long-range tactical-lift operations. Just as "littoral" has come to mean operations that begin well "over-the-horizon" (OTH), as far as 600 miles from an adversary's coastline, the "mobility triad" will ensure our ability to "reach out and touch someone" hundreds of miles inland, at revolutionary speeds.
America's warships are designed and built to operate in harm's way. Even in peacetime, the threat of attack always lurks in the shadows. The multi-mission San Antonio class is designed and engineered to operate either as a critical element of an amphibious ready group, or alone, operating forward, in hostile waters. The LPD-18 has a reduced vulnerability in the littoral environment by minimizing radar cross section using a streamlined topside design. Combining this significant improvement with state-of-the-art command and control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities and upgraded self-defense systems significantly improves the ship's ability to defeat airborne threats. The LPD-18 design reflects a revolutionary emphasis on shipboard survivability through an organization that will support both traditional manning and core/flex approaches, a focus on vulnerability reduction, and 21st-century survivability features. Never before has a design meshed these attributes into such a comprehensive approach to optimizing ship survivability.
Although LPD-18 is not flagship-configured, it does contain better command and control features and a robust communications suite than the LPD 4 Class so as to greatly improve its ability to support embarked landing forces, Marine Air Ground Task Forces, or other joint forces. The ship's Combat Information Center, Marine Tactical Logistics Center, Mini-Intelligence Center, and Troop Operations command and control spaces are equipped with large screen displays and dedicated computer consoles. Removable "smart bulkheads" integrate these spaces to create synergy and the shared knowledge needed to improve operational agility.
The heart of the ship's defensive capability is a quick reaction Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS) that correlates sensor information, provides threat identification and evaluation, assesses own-ship defense readiness, and recommends optimal tactical defense responses against anti-ship missile and aircraft attacks in a cluttered conflict environment. The LPD-17 class is the first class of U.S. Navy ships to be equipped with a fiber-optic Shipboard Wide Area Network (SWAN). The SWAN connects all ship systems, combat systems, sensors, and command and control nodes with the ship's warfighting consoles to provide the essential real-time decision-making information required for fighting the ship effectively.
Employment of the "mobility triad" affords LPD-18 and future ARGs with an OTH maneuver capability that extends the operating range and improves threat reaction time. Highly capable air- and surface-search radar systems, the revolutionary Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), the Rolling Airframe Missile system, and the Mk 53 Nulka Decoy Launching System present an impressive array of self-defense capabilities. An upgrade path has been defined to accommodate future advanced radar systems or other advanced technology for long-term horizon-search and fire-control requirements on LPD-18 in the 21st century.
The ship will carry two high rate-of-fire Mk 46 Mod 1 automated 30mm Close-in Gun System mounts. The Mk 46 provides long-range lethality while engaging small, high-speed, surface targets. The LPD-18 design also reserves space and weight for adding improvements such as a Vertical Launcher for the Evolved Sea-Sparrow Missile System to boost future capability.
Length:684 feet (208.5 meters)
Commissioned: 10 MAR 2007; Location: New Orleans, LA
Beam: 105 feet (31.9 meters)
Displacement: 24,900 long ship tons
Speed: In excess of 22 knots (24.2 mph)
Aircraft: Four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft may be launched or recovered simultaneously. The ship's hangar can store 1-2 aircraft.
Armament: Two 30mm Close-in-Guns, for surface threat defense; two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers for air defense
Landing Craft: Two LCACs (air cushion) or one LCU (conventional)
EFVs: 14 Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles
Power plant: Four Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, two shafts, 40,000 Hp
Crew: 361 (28 officers, 333 enlisted)
Troops: 720 (66 officers, 654 enlisted); surge to 800
LPD 17 Class: San Antonio (LPD 17), New Orleans (LPD 18), Mesa Verde (LPD 19), Green Bay (LPD 20), New York (LPD 21), San Diego (LPD 22), Anchorage (LPD-23), Arlington (LPD-24), Somerset (LPD-25)
Motto: “Victory from the Sea”
The Army’s Institute of Heraldry designs the ship’s crest based upon research into the namesake city and with assistance from the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Skillman. The eventual design for LPD 18 will represent the ship’s crew, Navy, Marine Corps, other ships named New Orleans and the city of New Orleans.
LPD 18’s crest melds the ship’s Navy, Marine Corps and namesake city heritage Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the United States Navy. Green and blue, representing land and sea areas of operation, highlight the amphibious mission of USS New Orleans. The fleur-delis honor the three previous ships named USS New Orleans and are adapted from the City Flag of New Orleans.
The battlements symbolize defense and highlight the city of New Orleans being the site of Andrew Jackson’s victory in the War of 1812. The eagle with the globe and anchor refers to the Marine Corps insignia and reflects the Marine Corps role in executing LPD 18’s expeditionary missions.
The fouled anchor is taken from the CPO collar insignia represents the Sailor’s role in the Navy and LPD 18. The eighteen stars represent Louisiana being the 18th state to join the Union. The crossed Navy and Marine swords symbolize combat readiness and the teamwork between the Navy and Marine Corps
The white alligator is unique to the city of New Orleans and emphasizes the amphibious nature of USS New Orleans’ mission to embark, transport and land elements of a landing force. The globe underscores the world wide mission of LPD 18. The cannons recall New Orleans’s heritage and Jackson’s defense of the city.
Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton named LPD 18, New Orleans. The LPD 18 honors the largest city of Louisiana and one of the world's major ports. Three previous ships have borne the name New Orleans in honor of the "Crescent City.” Of these three ships, CL-22 was a protected cruiser that served during the Spanish American War and WW I, CA-32 was a WW II cruiser, and LPH 11 was an amphibious assault ship in the Cold War. LPH 11 also deployed for 10 months in support of the allied efforts in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and “Desert Stuck” (the aftermath of the war held the New Orleans, her crew and marine complement in and near the gulf for months after hostilities had been concluded).
New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, and named for the regent of France, Philipp II, duc d'Orleans. It is also the scene of Andrew Jackson's great victory at the close of the War of 1812 in which small naval forces under Commodore David Patterson played a large role. New Orleans also was the scene of a key naval action in the Civil War, in which Admiral David Farragut opened the southern Mississippi to Union forces.
Other Ships Previously Named New Orleans
CL-22. The First U. S. Navy ship commissioned the USS New Orleans, CL-22, was a 3769 ton protected cruiser. The ship supported naval operations off the coast of Cuba in the Spanish-American War and convoy escort duty in World War I.
New Orleans served two tours of Asiatic service and one in the eastern Pacific up to 1917, when World War I requirements called her to the Atlantic. She escorted convoys until January 1918, and then sailed for further duty in Asiatic waters, where she spent the rest of her active career.
Designated PG-34 in 1920 and CL-22 in 1921, New Orleans was decommissioned in November 1922 and sold for scrapping in February 1930.
CA-32. The second USS New Orleans, CA-32, a heavy cruiser, commissioned in 1934 and decommissioned in 1946. The ship served valiantly during WW II and earned 17 Battle Stars (see list at USS New Orleans Reunion Association Web sitewww.ussneworleans.com).
Moored in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, and taking power and light from the dock, her engines were under repair. With yard power out during the attack, the cruiser's engineers fought to raise steam, working by flashlight, while on deck men fired on the Japanese attackers with rifles and pistols. Though guns had to be worked by hand, within 10 minutes all her AA batteries were in action. A number of her crew were injured when a fragmentation bomb exploded close aboard.
The heavy cruiser survived the Japanese attack and served throughout World War II. With four other cruisers and six destroyers she fought in the Battle of Tassafaronga, engaging a Japanese destroyer transport force. When flagship Minneapolis was struck by two torpedoes, New Orleans, next astern, was forced to sheer away to avoid collision, and ran into the track of a torpedo, which ripped off her bow. Bumping down the ship's port side, the severed bow punched several holes in New Orleans' hull. A fifth of her length gone, slowed to 2 knots, and blazing forward, the ship fought for survival. Individual acts of heroism and self-sacrifice along with skillful seamanship kept her afloat, and under her own power she entered Tulagi Harbor. Camouflaging their ship from air attack, the crew jury-rigged a bow of coconut logs, and 11 days later New Orleans sailed to replace a damaged propeller.
LPH - 11. The third New Orleans, a 600-foot amphibious assault vessel, served as a highly effective and versatile platform during the Vietnam War and Cold War.
Laid down, 1 March 1966 at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia PA; Launched, 3 February 1968; Commissioned USS New Orleans (LPH-11), 16 November 1968;
Decommissioned, 1 October 1997; Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Benica, CA; Struck from the Naval Register, 23 October 1998; Final Disposition, to be disposed of by transfer to government agencies.
The vessel was also the command ship for minesweeping in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. The ship plucked command modules out of the sea for NASA's Apollo space program. Most recently it was used for location work during filming of the movie Apollo 13.
In 1997, the ship was decommissioned after conducting 90,000 helicopter landings and steaming 750,000 miles.
We see a professional, well-trained team deploying one year from Commissioning. We feel ownership and pride for the USS NEW ORLEANS(LPD 18). Our team includes the crew and their family members from coast-to-coast.
READINESS: We will meet every commitment with excellence.
OWNERSHIP: Every sailor is the ship.
FAMILY: We will take care of each other and our families.
To provide the United States Navy with an expeditionary warship, fully trained and ready to deploy in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
CORE VALUES of DUTY, HONOR and COMMITMENT.
INTEGRITY. We reap what we sow.
ACCOUNTABILITY. We are accountable to the ship, the chain of command and each other.
CHAIN OF COMMAND. TRIAD of the CO, XO, and CMC lead a strong Chain of Command.