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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.
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761 news items

The Virginian-Pilot
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:30:00 -0700

The dock landing ship Carter Hall will have a change of command early next month. Cmdr. Neal Brinn will be relieved by Cmdr. Christina Dalmau in a ceremony on Aug. 7 on the flight deck of the ship at General Dynamics NASSCO in Norfolk, a Navy news ...


Fri, 31 Jul 2015 08:45:00 -0700

The sailors of dock landing ship Comstock's deck department think their cruise video is better than the cruiser Normandy's. On Tuesday, we posted a video made by the sailors on Normandy that included go-pro video of small boat ops, a sweet F-18 flyby ...
DVIDS (press release)
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 04:48:45 -0700

FST is embarked on the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) and assigned to the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group and is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications 3rd Class ...


Wed, 20 May 2015 05:58:27 -0700

The following is a May 18, 2015, memo from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert on the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser (CG) and Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship (LSD) modernization programs.

Times of San Diego

Times of San Diego
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 11:52:33 -0700

The Navy announced Friday that Capt. Carl Meuser assumed command of the amphibious transport dock ship, USS San Diego, which is based at its namesake city. Meuser succeeded Capt. John Menoni in a ceremony Thursday aboard the USS Midway ...
DVIDS (press release)
Sun, 19 Jul 2015 16:06:51 -0700

A landing craft utility (LCU) vehicle approaches the well deck aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) during well deck operations. Oak Hill is underway for a Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) in preparation for the ship ...
DVIDS (press release)
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 01:48:45 -0700

ARABIAN GULF (July 28, 2015) U.S. Marine Cpl. Patrick Kennon fires at his target during a short-range marksmanship qualification course aboard the dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47). Kennon is a machine gunner with Kilo Company, Battalion ...


Tue, 28 Jul 2015 22:04:54 -0700

(PHILIPPINE SEA) - Firecontrolman 3rd class Logan Brown from McMinnville, Oregon performs erosion maintenance on the hull of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD-48). Brown is a graduate of the McMinnville Arts and Communications ...

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