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A dock landing ship (also called landing ship, dock or LSD) is an amphibious warfare ship with a well dock to transport and launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles.[1] Some ships with well decks, such as the Soviet Ivan Rogov class, also have bow doors to enable them to deliver vehicles directly onto a beach (like a Landing Ship, Tank). Modern dock landing ships also operate helicopters.

A ship with a well deck (docking well) can transfer cargo to landing craft in rougher seas than a ship that has to use cranes or a stern ramp.[2] The US Navy hull classification symbol for a ship with a well deck depends on its facilities for aircraft - a (modern) LSD has a helicopter deck, a LPD also has a hangar, and a LHD or LHA has a full-length flight deck.[2]


The LSD (US Navy hull classification for landing ship, dock) came as a result of a British requirement during the Second World War for a vessel that could carry large landing craft across the seas at speed.

The first LSD came from a design by Sir Roland Baker who had designed the British Landing Craft, Tank. It was an answer to the problem of launching small craft rapidly. The "Landing Ship Stern Chute", which was a converted train ferry, was an early attempt. Thirteen Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) could be launched from these ships down the chute. The Landing Ship Gantry was a converted tanker with a crane to transfer its cargo of landing craft from deck to sea - 15 LCM in a little over half an hour.[3]

The design was developed and built in the US for the USN and the Royal Navy. The LSD could carry 36 LCM at 16 knots. It took one and a half hours for the dock to be flooded down and two and half to pump it out. When flooded they could also be used as docks for repairs to small craft.

Amphibious vehicles inside a US LSD

Vessels of the LSD hull classification[edit]

In the United States Navy, two related groups of vessels classified as LSDs are in service as of 2011, the Whidbey Island and Harpers Ferry classes, mainly used to carry hovercraft (LCACs), operate helicopters, and carry Marines.[4]

The Dutch and Spanish collaborated on the "Enforcer" design which entered service as the Rotterdam-class amphibious transport dock and Galicia-class landing platform dock.

The British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) operates three Bay-class landing ships - related to the Enforcer design - in support of the Royal Navy's operations while a fourth ship of the class, previously in RFA service, is now operated by the Royal Australian Navy.

Former US LSDs include the Ashland class, Casa Grande class, Thomaston class and Anchorage class.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mother of Minesweepers". Popular Mechanics: 97–104, see drawings pp. 98–99. February 1952. 
  2. ^ a b "World Wide Landing Ship Dock/Landing Platform Dock". Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  3. ^ Brown 2006, p. 145
  4. ^ US Navy Office of Information Fact File - LSD

Cited literature[edit]

  • Brown, D. K. (November 2006). Nelson to Vanguard. Annapolis, Maryland: US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-602-X. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dock_landing_ship — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

1313 news items

DVIDS (press release)

DVIDS (press release)
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 03:15:00 -0800

160205-N-RM689-045 SATTAHIP, Thailand (Feb. 05, 2016)- Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, assigned to amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48), man the rails as Ashland pulls into Thailand. Ashland is assigned to the ...

DVIDS (press release)

DVIDS (press release)
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 18:48:45 -0800

Amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the flag ship of the ARG, and amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) arrived in Okinawa Feb. 1 and spent several days onloading Marine gear and equipment to ensure the ARG's ...


Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:07:30 -0800

The industrial base that supports the amphibious transport dock (LPD) construction hopes Congress will help accelerate the follow-on LX(R) dock landing ship replacement program by two years, an idea first floated in the House Armed Services Committee ...


Thu, 04 Feb 2016 06:48:45 -0800

USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) in the Atlantic Ocean on Dec. 21, 2014. US Navy Photo. During the past decade or so, as defense budgets were squeezed and amphibious force structure was ...
IHS Jane's 360
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 14:18:45 -0800

A coalition of suppliers for the US Navy's (USN's) amphibious warships urged Congress on 4 February to authorise funds in fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017) to help accelerate a dock landing ship replacement (LXR) programme. The optimum construction start for ...

The Virginian-Pilot (subscription) (blog)

The Virginian-Pilot (subscription) (blog)
Mon, 01 Feb 2016 17:41:15 -0800

Klubert was supposed to deploy aboard the USS Carter Hall two days before the shooting, but poor weather delayed the amphibious dock landing ship's departure by four days. Klubert decided to spend some of his additional time ashore hanging out at his ...

DVIDS (press release)

DVIDS (press release)
Fri, 29 Jan 2016 23:49:40 -0800

160129-N-MP556-030 OKINAWA, Japan (Jan. 29, 2016) - An amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) departs White Beach Naval Facility to embark the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD ...

The Virginian-Pilot (subscription) (blog)

The Virginian-Pilot (subscription) (blog)
Mon, 01 Feb 2016 17:24:01 -0800

The Navy told the senators last week that it was accelerating ship-repair work on two vessels – the cruiser Gettysburg and the dock landing ship Tortuga – and has outsourced work on two submarines to private yards because of capacity limitations at ...

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