The first LST of a revolutionary new design,
USS Newport (LST- 1179) (fig. 19-16), was com-
missioned in June of 1969. This was the first U.S.
Navy combat vessel equipped with a bow thruster
(side propulsion unit) to aid in maneuvering.
The Newport is the fastest and largest LST
ever built. The new design features a clipper bow,
an extended bow ramp instead of bow doors, and a
rounded bottom. The tank deck is connected to the
main deck by a ramp forward of the bridge. Stern
doors allow easy loading and unloading of cargo
and troops. Vehicle stowage is 500 tons. The
stowage area is 19,000 square feet, 5,000 more
than previous LSTs.
These ships can transport and land amphibious
vehicles, tanks, combat vehicles, and equipment in
amphibious assaults. In addition, they can
transport and launch a pontoon cause-way section
in the amphibious objective area.
AMPHIBIOUS COMMAND SHIPS. An
amphibious command ship (LCC) can serve simul-
taneously as a command ship for an amphibious
task force, a landing force, and air support
commanders during amphibious operations. It
provides accommodations and command and
commanders and their staffs. This ship has the
most modern and capable command facilities
afloat. At this time, only two ships of this type,
USS Blue Ridge and USS Mount Whitney (fig. 19-
17), are in commission.
Blue Ridge Class Data
MINE SWEEPERS. The Navys newest
mine-sweeping ship class, the Avenger, represents
a revolutionary concept in mine warfare. These
ships are designed as mine hunter/killers capable
of performing reconnaissance, classification, and
neutralization of moored and bottom mines.
These ships operate the remotely piloted,
tethered Mine Neutralization System (MNS). This
system combines sonar and video capability with
cable cutters and a mine-detonating device (a
releasable, remotely controlled explosive).
Using the MNS, an operator aboard the mine
countermeasures (MCM) ship (fig. 19-18) can
Figure 19-18 .-USS Avenger (MCM-1), the lead ship of its class.