The USS Somerset (LPD-25) transits the Pacific in 2016. The LPD-17 design requires unique shiphandling considerations.
Well over a decade since the first San Antonio (LPD-17)–class amphibious transport dock was delivered to the Navy, it has become a cornerstone in the future design and construction of amphibious warships. Intended as the functional replacement for the aging amphibious ships in the Austin (LPD-4) class, Anchorage (LSD-36) class, Charleston (LKA-113) class, and Newport (LST-1179) class, the fiscal year 2018 budget allocated funds toward a Flight II variant of LPD-17 to replace the Whidbey Island (LSD-41) class. By 2030, the San Antonio design will form the majority of the amphibious fleet and ultimately will consist of 26 ships—13 Flight I and 13 Flight II—making it the central platform of modern amphibious warfare.