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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 British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) operates three Bay-class landing ships based on the Dutch-Spanish 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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Mon, 04 Apr 2016 12:42:08 -0700

TYSONS CORNER, VA, April 4, 2016 — A Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII) executive has urged the U.S. Navy to proceed with the LX(R) dock-landing ship development program in fiscal 2018 rather than fiscal 2020, ExecutiveBiz reported Friday.

Washington Post

Sun, 10 Apr 2016 05:32:21 -0700

A search-and-rescue mission continued late Sunday off Cape Hatteras for a sailor who went missing from the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall on Saturday afternoon, Navy Lt. Michael Hatfield said. The sailor was discovered missing around 4:20 p.m. ...


Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:42:21 -0700

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Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:48:47 -0700

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Tue, 26 Apr 2016 07:15:00 -0700

The Kearsarge group is composed of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, amphibious transport dock USS Arlington and amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill. The Kearsarge and Arlington are based at Norfolk Naval Station, while the Oak ...

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Sat, 16 Apr 2016 12:45:28 -0700

Taylor KayJean Machado has been identified as the sailor who was reported missing last weekend from the Virginia-based USS Carter Hall, an amphibious dock landing ship shown here at sea. Courtesy of U.S. Navy Courtesy of U.S. Navy. Associated Press.

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