Newport-class tank landing ship

Newport-class tank landing ships were an improved class of tank landing ship (LST) designed for and employed by the United States Navy from 1969 to 2002. The ships were intended to provide substantial advantages over their World War II-era predecessors. Larger and faster than any previous LST design, they carried a ramp over the bow that allowed them to surpass 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph), a goal of the United States amphibious forces. 27 were planned of which twenty were completed, the high number due to the demands of US force projection estimates. However, the arrival of the air-cushioned landing craft which allowed for over-the-horizon attacks made the class obsolete in the eyes of the United States Navy. Placed in reserve, twelve were eventually sold to foreign navies, while the remaining eight have since been decommissioned.

USS Newport (LST-1179) at Rota 1982.jpg
USS Newport (LST-1179)
Class overview
Builders:
Operators:
Preceded by: De Soto County class
Succeeded by: None
Built: 1966–1972
In commission: 1969–present
Planned: 27
Completed: 20
Cancelled: 7
Active: 6
Lost: 1
Retired: 13
General characteristics As built
Type: Tank landing ship
Displacement:
  • 4,793 long tons (4,870 t) light
  • 8,342 long tons (8,476 t) full load
Length:
  • 522 ft 4 in (159.2 m) oa
  • 562 ft (171.3 m) over derrick arms
Beam: 69 ft 6 in (21.2 m)
Draft: 17 ft 6 in (5.3 m) max
Propulsion:
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) max
Range: 2,500 nmi (4,600 km; 2,900 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Troops: 431 max
Complement: 213
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 2 × Mk 63 GCFS
  • SPS-10 radar
Armament: 2 × twin 3"/50 caliber guns

Design and descriptionEdit

 
USS Frederick with its bow ramp extended
 
USS Racine bow view with bow ramp sitting on deck

The Newport class were designed to meet the goal put forward by the United States amphibious forces to have a tank landing ship (LST) capable of over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). However, the traditional bow door form for LSTs would not be capable. Therefore, the designers of the Newport class came up with a design of a traditional ship hull with a 112-foot (34 m) aluminum ramp slung over the bow supported by two derrick arms. The 34-long-ton (35 t) ramp was capable of sustaining loads up to 75 long tons (76 t). This made the Newport class the first to depart from the standard LST design that had been developed in early World War II.[1][2][3]

LSTs of the Newport class had a displacement of 4,793 long tons (4,870 t) when light and 8,342 long tons (8,476 t) at full load. They were 522 feet 4 inches (159.2 m) long overall and 562 ft (171.3 m) over the derrick arms which protruded past the bow.[2][3] They had a beam of 69 ft 6 in (21.2 m), a draft forward of 11 ft 5 in (3.5 m) and 17 ft 5 in (5.3 m) at the stern at full load.[4]

The first three ships of the class were fitted with six General Motors 16-645-ES diesel engines, while the remainder of the class were fitted with six Alco 16-251 diesel engines turning two shafts, three to each shaft. The system was rated at 16,500 brake horsepower (12,300 kW) and gave the ships a maximum speed of 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) for short periods and could only sustain 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) for an extended length of time. The LSTs carried 1,750 long tons (1,780 t) of diesel fuel for a range of 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km; 2,900 mi) at the cruising speed of 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph). The ships were also equipped with a bow thruster to allow for better maneuvering near causeways and to hold position while offshore during the unloading of amphibious vehicles.[3][5]

The Newport class were larger and faster than previous LSTs and were able to transport tanks, heavy vehicles and engineer groups and supplies that were too large for helicopters or smaller landing craft to carry.[6] The LSTs have a ramp forward of the superstructure that connects the lower tank deck with the main deck and a passage large enough to allow access to the parking area amidships. The vessels are also equipped with a stern gate to allow the unloading of amphibious vehicles directly into the water or to unload onto a utility landing craft (LCU) or pier. At either end of the tank deck there is a 30 ft (9.1 m) turntable that permits vehicles to turn around without having to reverse.[1][2] The Newport class has the capacity for 500 long tons (510 t) of vehicles, 19,000 sq ft (1,800 m2) of cargo area and could carry up to 431 troops.[1][7] The vessels also have davits for four vehicle and personnel landing craft (LCVPs) and could carry four pontoon causeway sections along the sides of the hull.[2][3]

The Newport class were initially armed with four Mark 33 3-inch (76 mm)/50 caliber guns in two twin turrets. They were equipped with two Mk 63 gun control fire systems (GCFS) for the 3-inch guns, but these were removed in 1977–1978.[3] They also had SPS-10 surface search radar.[8] Atop the stern gate, the vessels mounted a helicopter deck. They had a maximum complement of 213 including 11 officers.[6]

United States serviceEdit

Construction and careerEdit

 
USS San Bernardino during a landing exercise in 1979

The first vessel of the class, Newport was ordered as part of Fiscal Year (FY) 1965. The next eight were authorized in FY 1966, followed by eleven in 1967. The first three LSTs were constructed by Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the remaining seventeen by National Steel and Shipbuilding of San Diego, California. Seven more were ordered in FY 1971, but these were later deferred, then canceled.[6][7] Beginning in FY 1981, ships of the class were transferred to the Naval Reserve Force.[9]

 
Aft view of Spartanburg County returning from Operation Desert Storm, 1991

By 1994, the 3-inch guns had been removed. The development of LCACs which allowed the United States Navy to launch over-the-horizon amphibious landings made the Newport class obsolete.[2]

Ships in classEdit

Newport class[8]
Hull No. Ship name Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
LST-1179 Newport Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1 November 1966 3 February 1968 7 June 1969 1992 Sold to Mexican Navy as ARM Papaloapan
LST-1180 Manitowoc 1 February 1967 4 June 1969 24 January 1970 1993 Sold to Republic of China Navy as Chung Ho
LST-1181 Sumter 14 November 1967 13 December 1969 20 June 1970 1993 Sold to Republic of China Navy as Chung Ping
LST-1182 Fresno National Steel and Shipbuilding, San Diego, California 16 December 1967 28 September 1968 22 November 1969 1993 Disposed of in support of fleet training exercise, 15 September 2014
LST-1183 Peoria 22 February 1968 23 November 1968 21 February 1970 1994 Disposed of in support of fleet training exercise, 7 December 2004
LST-1184 Frederick 13 April 1968 8 March 1969 11 April 1970 2002 Sold to Mexican Navy as ARM Usumacinta on 22 November 2002
LST-1185 Schenectady 2 August 1968 24 May 1969 13 June 1970 1993 Disposed of in support of fleet training exercise on 13 November 2004
LST-1186 Cayuga 28 September 1968 12 July 1969 8 August 1970 1994 Sold to Brazilian Navy as Mattoso Maia
LST-1187 Tuscaloosa 23 November 1968 6 September 1969 24 October 1970 1993 Sunk as target, July 2014
LST-1188 Saginaw 24 May 1969 7 February 1970 23 January 1971 1994 Sold to Royal Australian Navy as HMAS Kanimbla, 1994
LST-1189 San Bernardino 12 July 1969 28 March 1970 27 March 1971 1995 Sold to Chilean Navy to as Valdivia
LST-1190 Boulder 6 September 1969 22 May 1970 4 June 1971 1994 Awaiting disposal at Philadelphia.
LST-1191 Racine 13 December 1969 15 August 1970 9 July 1971 1993 Sunk as a target on 12 July 2018
LST-1192 Spartanburg County 7 February 1970 11 November 1970 1 September 1971 1994 Sold to Royal Malaysian Navy as KD Sri Inderapura
LST-1193 Fairfax County 28 March 1970 19 December 1970 16 October 1971 1994 Sold to Royal Australian Navy as HMAS Manoora, 1994
LST-1194 La Moure County 22 May 1970 13 February 1971 18 December 1971 2000 Disposed of in support of fleet training exercise on 10 July 2001
LST-1195 Barbour County 15 August 1970 15 May 1971 12 February 1972 1992 Disposed of in support of fleet training exercise on 6 April 2004
LST-1196 Harlan County 7 November 1970 24 July 1971 8 April 1972 1995 Sold to Spanish Navy as Pizarro, decommissioned in 2012
LST-1197 Barnstable County 19 December 1970 2 October 1971 27 May 1972 1994 Sold to Spanish Navy as Hernán Cortés, decommissioned in 2009
LST-1198 Bristol County 13 February 1971 4 December 1971 5 August 1972 1994 Sold to Royal Moroccan Navy as Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah

Export serviceEdit

AustraliaEdit

 
Manoora post conversion

Two LSTs were acquired by the Royal Australian Navy in 1994; Sagainaw on 25 August and Fairfax County on 27 September. Renamed Kanimbla and Manoora, the two vessels underwent conversion in May 1995 at Forgacs Shipbuilding, Newcastle, New South Wales. The LSTs were significantly modified by removing their bow ramps and adding another deck over the bow of the ship, allowing for a third landing spot and increased aviation fuel capacity. Over the new deck two LCM-8 landing craft are carried when the third landing spot is not used, handled by a 70-ton crane. Improved medical facilities were constructed. A hangar was installed aft, allowing for the stowage of four Seahawk helicopters.[10][11] Both ships were based at Sydney, Australia.[11] The two vessels were taken out of service in 2011 and replaced by HMAS Choules and the Canberra-class landing helicopter docks.[12]

Ships in classEdit

Kanimbla class[10]
Pennant No. Ship name Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
L 51 Kanimbla 29 August 1994 25 November 2011[13] Sold for scrap and broken up at New Orleans, Louisiana in October 2013.[13][14]
L 52 Manoora 25 November 1994 27 May 2011[14]

BrazilEdit

The Brazilian Navy leased one Newport-class LST from the United States on 26 August 1994. Cayuga was renamed Mattoso Maia and arrived in October. The vessel was acquired outright on 19 September 2000. Negotiations for a second vessel, Peoria, were unsuccessfully ended in 2001.[15]

Ships in classEdit

Mattoso Maia[15]
Pennant No. Ship name Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
G 28 Mattoso Maia 30 August 1994

ChileEdit

The Chilean Navy leased one vessel of the class from the US. A second was offered, but the ship's poor condition led to it being rejected. San Bernardino was leased on 30 September 1995 and renamed Valdivia. In 1997, the LST ran aground and was damaged. Valdivia was refloated and repaired.[16] Due to the age of the vessel, Valdivia was taken out of service on 14 January 2011.[17]

Ships in classEdit

Valdivia[16]
Pennant No. Ship name Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
93 Valdivia 30 September 1995 14 January 2011

MalaysiaEdit

The Royal Malaysian Navy acquired one Newport-class LST from the United States on 16 December 1994. A second was to be leased in 1998, but the option was not taken up. Spartanburg County arrived in Malaysia in June 1995 and was renamed KRI Sri Inderapura. The vessel was refit between 1995 and 1998 at Johore. On 15 December 2002, the ship was damaged by fire.[18] On 8 October 2009, while berthed at the Lumut Naval Base, Sri Inderapura caught fire and sank. The vessel was later raised. Sri Inderapura was officially decommissioned by the Royal Malaysian Navy on 21 January 2010.[19][20]

Ships in classEdit

Sri Inderapura[18]
Pennant No. Ship name Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
1505 Sri Inderapura 1995 21 January 2010 Caught fire and sank on 8 October 2009.

MexicoEdit

 
Papaloapan off the coast of Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.

Mexico acquired two ships from the United States. Newport was purchased on 18 January 2001 and renamed Sonora by the Mexican Navy, before becoming Rio Papaloapan. Frederick was purchased on 9 December 2002 and renamed Usumacinta.[21] Rio Papaloapan is based at Tampico and Usumacinta at Manzanillo.[22]

Ships in classEdit

Newport class[21]
Hull No. Ship name Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
A411 (ex-A-04) Rio Papaloapan (ex-Sonora) 23 May 2001
A412 Usumacinta 9 December 2002

MoroccoEdit

The Royal Moroccan Navy acquired one ship from the United States as a grant transfer on 16 August 1994. Bristol County was renamed Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah upon entering Moroccan service. The LST was acquired to replace the aging Arrafiq. By late 1995, Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah was considered non-operational but was later returned to service.[23]

Ships in classEdit

Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah[23]
Pennant No. Ship name Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
407 Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah 1995 2010 Sunk as a target in May 2013

SpainEdit

Two ships were leased by the Spanish Navy from the United States. The first, Barnstable County was recommissioned into the Spanish Navy on 26 August 1994 and renamed Hernán Cortés. The second, Harlan County, recommissioned on 14 April 1995 and was renamed Pizarro. Both ships were based at Rota, Spain.[24] Hernán Cortés was initially to be decommissioned in 2006, but continued until 2009, when the vessel was taken out of service. The LST was scrapped at Arinaga, Gran Canaria, Spain in 2014.[25][26] Pizarro was decommissioned in December 2012 and sold for scrap in February 2016 and was broken up at Cadiz beginning in March.[27]

Ships in classEdit

Newport class[24]
Hull No. Ship name Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
L 41 Hernán Cortés 26 August 1994 2009 Broken up for scrap at Arinaga, Gran Canaria, Spain 2014
L 42 Pizarro 14 April 1995 December 2012 Broken up for scrap in Cadiz, Spain in March 2016

TaiwanEdit

Two ships were leased by the Republic of China Navy (ROCN) from the United States on 1 July 1995. Manitowoc and Sumter were taken to Newport News Shipbuilding and refitted before being recommissioned into the ROCN on 8 May 1997 and renamed Chung Ho and Chung Ping respectively. The two ships were purchased on 29 September 2000.[28]

Ships in classEdit

Newport class[28]
Hull No. Ship name Commissioned Decommissioned Fate
232 Chung Ho 8 May 1997
233 Chung Ping

See alsoEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ a b c Blackman 1972, p. 504.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gardiner, Chumbley & Budzbon 1995, p. 621.
  3. ^ a b c d e Couhat 1986, pp. 655–666.
  4. ^ Moore 1975, p. 486.
  5. ^ Moore 1976, p. 614.
  6. ^ a b c Moore 1974, p. 467.
  7. ^ a b Moore 1978, p. 690.
  8. ^ a b Sharpe 1990, p. 761.
  9. ^ Moore 1980, p. 670.
  10. ^ a b Saunders 2004, p. 29.
  11. ^ a b Saunders 2009, p. 32.
  12. ^ Kerr, Julian (10 September 2008). "Sea support: southern hemisphere amphibious ambitions on the rise". International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group.
  13. ^ a b "HMAS Kanimbla (II)". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  14. ^ a b "HMAS Manoora (II)". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  15. ^ a b Saunders 2004, p. 71.
  16. ^ a b Saunders 2004, p. 111.
  17. ^ Higueras, José (26 January 2011). "Chile eyes new amphibious transport ship". Jane's Defence Weekly.
  18. ^ a b Saunders 2004, p. 459.
  19. ^ "KD Sri Inderapura fire: Commanding Officer's service terminated". Borneo Post Online. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Sri Inderapura blaze started from tank stowage area". The Star Online. 18 October 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  21. ^ a b Saunders 2004, p. 479.
  22. ^ Saunders 2009, p. 523.
  23. ^ a b Saunders 2004, p. 485.
  24. ^ a b Saunders 2004, p. 681.
  25. ^ Saunders 2009, p. 750.
  26. ^ Pallarés, María José (28 August 2014). "Fin de travesía en Arinaga" [End of the road in Arinaga]. canarias7.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  27. ^ Lorenzo, Juan Carlos Diaz (31 March 2016). "El buque "Pizarro", vendido para desguace" [The ship "Pizarro", sold for scrapping]. Punte de Mando (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  28. ^ a b Saunders 2004, p. 725.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit