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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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786 news items

DVIDS (press release)
Sun, 28 Jun 2015 18:52:07 -0700

BUNBURY, Australia (June 25, 2015) - Sailors man the rails as they pull into their first port call of their Summer deployment on board the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). Ashland is assigned to the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary ...


Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:07:30 -0700

... wreck of the USCG Cutter Duane, a distress call came over the radio about a diver who had a problem while diving on the wreck of the USS Spiegel Grove (LSD-32), a Thomaston-class dock landing ship that was also intentionally sunk as an artificial reef.

Florida Times-Union

Florida Times-Union
Wed, 24 Jun 2015 06:30:00 -0700

The IWOARG is commanded by McMillan, which include the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and the ...

Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes
Thu, 25 Jun 2015 04:37:30 -0700

The strike group that arrived Thursday includes amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard, amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland, amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay and guided-missile destroyer USS Preble, the Marines statement ...
IHS Jane's 360
Thu, 25 Jun 2015 02:11:15 -0700

... an all-time high with the commissioning in November 2014 of the 27,500 tonne helicopter landing dock HMAS Canberra , sea trials of sister ship Adelaide now underway, and the in-service availability of the 16,190 tonne dock landing ship HMAS Choules .


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.
DVIDS (press release)
Thu, 25 Jun 2015 01:15:00 -0700

BUNBURY, Australia (June 25, 2015) - Sailors and Marines man the rails as they pull into their first port call of their Summer deployment on board the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). Ashland is assigned to the Bonhomme Richard ...


Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:32:24 -0700

In addition, the Ponce, a converted dock landing ship, is serving as an interim AFSB and is deployed to 5th Fleet. Lt. Gen. Puller, known as "Chesty," led one of the most storied careers in the Corps. The former enlisted leatherneck rose through the ...

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