AMPHIBIOUS TRANSPORT DOCK SHIPS.
The amphibious transport dock (LPD) (fig. 19-
13) achieved a long-sought goal of transporting
troops and their equipment in the same ship. With
facilities for operating eight helicopters, the LPD
frequently serves as a satellite to the LPH during
vertical assault operations.
The LPD eliminates the difficulty of off-loading
landing craft over the side by transporting them
internally and launching them through an
opening in the stern. Craft can be launched while
the ship is under way or dead in the water. The
deck over the well that carries the landing craft
provides a platform for six large helicopters. This
deck permits the landing of troops by air as well as
by landing craft.
Austin Class Data
AMPHIBIOUS CARGO SHIPS. Amphib-
ious cargo ships (LKAs) carry large quantities of
the material and equipment needed to launch an
amphibious attack. Such items include guns,
provisions, jeeps, trucks, and tanks. Cargo
capacity is over 5,000 tons, or about 300 vehicles of
various types. These ships are combat-loaded,
which means the cargo is placed aboard in the
reverse order of off-loading to allow for rapid
removal of material that will be needed first. The
ships own landing craft deliver supplies, plus a
limited number of troops, to the beach. USS
Charleston (LKA-113) is shown in figure 19-14.
DOCK LANDING SHIPS. Dock landing
ships (LSDs) can transport and launch a variety of
loaded amphibious craft and vehicles plus a
limited number of troops. They can provide limited
docking and repair services to small ships and
craft and are equipped to refuel helicopters
operating from the ships helicopter landing
platform. The LSD has, between its wing walls, a
well over 300 feet long and about 50 feet wide.
Before the craft are launched, the LSD is ballasted
down and the well is flooded; the craft are then
moved out under their own power. The LSD 28
Figure 19-13.-Amphibious transport dock ship USS Austin (LPD-4).