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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 [LST]). 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: 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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853 news items

Times of San Diego

Times of San Diego
Mon, 23 Feb 2015 09:57:45 -0800

The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island, dock landing ship USS Comstock and amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego have been deployed since July 25. Since then they evacuated scientists from remote islands as Tropical Storm Iselle ...

Shreveport Times

Shreveport Times
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 07:33:45 -0800

The rendezvous was with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USS Walter S. Diehl, T-AO 193, and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry, LSD 43, on Sunday. The USS New York is a part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready ...

Times of San Diego

Times of San Diego
Wed, 04 Feb 2015 13:11:15 -0800

The Navy said the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego joined the Makin Island and amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock last week to begin the voyage back to San Diego, from where they departed in July. The vessels are carrying members of ...


Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:29:18 -0800

... competition between General Dynamics NASSCO and Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding for work on the LHA-8 amphibious assault ship, the T-AO(X) fleet oiler replacement and the next generation LX(R) dock landing ship replacement ...

Headlines & Global News

Headlines & Global News
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:33:45 -0800

In 2004, the Banshee drones prepare to launch from the U.S. Navy's dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry. These unmanned aircrafts are similar to the ones spotted in Paris recently. (Photo : Wikimedia Commons ). Paris authorities arrested three Al Jazeera ...
CBS 8 San Diego
Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:41:15 -0800

On Wednesday, the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island, dock landing ship USS Comstock and amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego will arrive at Naval Base San Diego, carrying troops of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. After setting sail ...


Mon, 23 Feb 2015 04:33:45 -0800

[gasp] a fleet command: dock landing ship Oak Hill. The Little Creek, Va.-based Oak Hill saw 7 of its 13 eligible first classes, or 54 percent, make chief in the fiscal 2015 cycle — surpassing shore commands that have a reputation for jobs with ...


Sat, 14 Feb 2015 11:18:45 -0800

Leading candidates for a rotational force include gators needed to form an amphibious ready group, which typically includes an amphibious assault ship, dock landing ship and amphibious transport dock. A lack of these ships drove the development of two ...

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