USS San Antonio


Dec 2, 2000
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From The Virginia Pilot OnLine:

New Navy ship San Antonio found to be rife with flaws
quote:

By LOUIS HANSEN, The Virginian-Pilot
© April 14, 2007



NORFOLK - The new amphibious ship San Antonio failed to complete a series of sea trials in late March, and faces $36 million in repairs during the next three months.

The Norfolk-based ship, the first of a new generation of helicopter and troop transports, could not be sea-tested during a five-day inspection period because one of its two steering systems completely failed, the Navy announced late Friday afternoon.

Navy inspectors found major defects in three of 17 categories during a final comprehensive review of the ship March 26-30 at Norfolk Naval Station. The San Antonio stayed in port for five days while 140 Navy inspectors chronicled a progression of minor and major flaws.
For the rest of the story, go to http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=122873&ran=35858

Comment: The somewhat hysterical tone of the headline aside, I'm not too concerned about this. The simple fact of the matter is that teething troubles go with the territory for any new ship. Especially the first of the class. The trials and inspections which follow the commissioning of a new ship are conducted with an eye towards weeding these irritating problems out.

To put things in perspective, the same article notes that this same ship had 200 days of underway time last year. Hardly the sort of performance one would expect if this ship were really a lemon.

Yes, she has problems.

They'll fix them. They always do.
 

Jack Devine

Member
Jan 23, 2004
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"teething troubles go with the territory for any new ship."
Not just ships, but aircraft and automobiles as well. It's common wisdom to never buy the first year of a completely new car model, as the bugs haven't been worked out yet. Prototype aircraft usually undergo major revisions for the same reason. The same idea applies here, although on a larger scale. If this was the fourth in the class, there would be much more cause for concern.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>If this was the fourth in the class, there would be much more cause for concern.<<

I agree. Unfortunately, a lot of the problems with brand new ships and the reasons for them tend to be lost on the media.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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The game is still afoot. From The Virginia Pilot OnLine:

Navy ship $840 million over budget and still unfinished
quote:

THE HIGHLY TOUTED nerve center of the new, $1.8 billion amphibious ship San Antonio is fraught with computer hardware crashes that could cripple operations.

The ship lacks basic safety equipment, such as hand rails and reliable guns to battle close-in attacks.

In all, Navy inspectors found 30 major flaws aboard the San Antonio, according to an internal report obtained by The Virginian-Pilot.

Despite the deficiencies, the Navy has earmarked $13 billion to purchase nine amphibious ships in the San Antonio class.

The report reflects some of the same problems disclosed by The Pilot in July 2005. Two years later, the San Antonio is still incomplete and $840 million over budget.

The LPD-17 class of ships, or landing platform dock, replaces older amphibious ships used to deliver Marines and their equipment, including aircraft, into combat. The San Antonio is the first ship in the new class.
For the rest of this rather lengthy story, go to http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=127663&ran=85353
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

SecNav rips shipbuilders over LPD 17
quote:

Northrop Grumman has received a scathing rebuke from the secretary of the Navy for its performance on the LPD 17 amphibious ship program. The company was criticized for poor construction standards and an inability to meet cost and schedule targets – factors that are causing the Navy concerns about future ship construction at Northrop’s shipyards along the Gulf of Mexico.

“I am deeply concerned about Northrop Grumman Ship Systems’ (NGSS) ability to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, particularly in regard to construction of LPD 17 Class vessels,”￾ Navy Secretary Donald Winter wrote in a June 22 letter to Northrop Chairman Ron Sugar, a copy of which was obtained by Defense News. “I am equally concerned about NGSS’ ability to construct and deliver ships that conform to the quality standards maintained by the Navy and that adhere to the cost and schedule commitments agreed upon at the outset by both NGSS and the Navy.”￾
Story at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/07/navy_lpd17_070710/

Comment: Uh oh! This isn't going to be pretty no matter how it plays out.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Defence News.com:

‘Clean Sweep’ for Third LPD-17
quote:

Shipbuilder Northrop Grumman declared a “clean sweep” after the U.S. Navy’s third LPD 17-class amphibious ship completed a series of builder’s trials in the Gulf of Mexico.
“These were very successful builder’s trials,” spokeswoman Debbie McCallum said Aug. 17. “We’re very pleased.”
Full story at http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2976582&C=america

Information on USS Mesa Verde at http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/09/0919.htm
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From Defence News.com:

Third Time Could Be the Charm for LPD Program
quote:

PASCAGOULA, Miss. – With the U.S. Navy still smarting from the unsatisfactory delivery of two amphibious ships, Northrop Grumman has put a special emphasis on making sure the third ship avoids the pitfalls of its predecessors.
If early returns are any indication, the shipbuilder and the Navy might be third time lucky.
The USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) carried out its initial builder’s trials in mid-August in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship returned Aug. 16 to Northrop’s Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula flying two brooms – a traditional “clean sweep” symbol representing success for both the Navy and Northrop Grumman.
But while the shipbuilder might be expected to trumpet its success, the ultimate goal is to please the customer. And the customer, at least at this stage, seems happy.
The Mesa Verde “sets a new standard for the LPD class as far as being a complete ship,” said Capt. Beth Dexter, the Navy’s supervisor of shipbuilding in Pascagoula. “My Navy team is proud to present it.”
Full story at http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=3006121&C=landwar
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Northrup Grumman News Release:

Photo Release -- Successful U.S. Navy Acceptance Trials Position Northrop Grumman-Built Mesa Verde (LPD 19) Toward Delivery and December Commissioning
quote:

PASCAGOULA, Miss., Sept. 20, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)-built amphibious transport dock ship Mesa Verde (LPD 19) successfully maneuvered the Gulf of Mexico waters last week, demonstrating her unique capabilities to the U.S. Navy.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://media.primezone.com/noc/
For the rest, go HERE
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Flagship:

San Antonio sailors take responsibility, ownership
quote:

NORFOLK – Amphibious transport dock San Antonio sailed through its board of inspection and survey inspection, Nov. 26-30, at Naval Station Norfolk.

The results, according to San Antonio Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Kurt Kastner, were extremely pleasing.

“The results of this InSurv were a win for San Antonio and the LPD-17 class in my opinion,”￾ Kastner said. “We were able to get underway and conduct every demonstration InSurv inspectors wanted to see.”￾
For the rest of this upbeat story, see http://www.flagshipnews.com/articles/2007/12/18/news/top_stories/top04.txt
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Troubled amphib program appears on track
quote:

As the Navy gears up for the first deployment of the new San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock slated for next year, a senior service shipbuilding official is “cautiously optimistic”￾ the once-beleaguered program is on track.

The first San Antonio-class amphib, which carries hull number LPD 17, will go through its operational evaluation in mid-February and is set to deploy sometime before the end of 2008, said Allison Stiller, the Navy’s deputy assistant secretary for shipbuilding.
Full story at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/12/navy_gators_071222w/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Latest in LPD series headed for delivery
quote:

AVONDALE, La. – The fourth in a series of amphibious warships is about to be turned over to the Navy and for everyone associated with the LPD-20, there’s a sense of awe.

The Green Bay – it officially becomes the USS Green Bay when commissioned Jan. 24 at Long Beach, Calif. – is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy on Aug. 29 by the Northrop Grumman Corp. shipyard in this New Orleans suburb.
More at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/08/ap_greenbay_082208/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

San Antonio shipping out
quote:

NORFOLK, Va. – The banner on the brow of the amphibious transport dock San Antonio reads, “Never Retreat. Never Surrender.”￾ And for a while there, it also looked as if the ship would never deploy.

But after years of design problems and delays, the San Antonio finally is ready to head overseas. The ship, the first of the LPD 17 class, is scheduled to depart Norfolk this week as part of the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group, Navy officials say.

“She is ready for deployment,”￾ 2nd Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Herman Phillips said.
More at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/08/navy_sanantonio_082508w/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

InSurv: LPD 18’s fighting ability ‘degraded’
quote:

Just under two years after the amphibious transport dock New Orleans was delivered incomplete, the amphib still can’t perform the central mission for which it was designed: Carrying Marines, their gear and their vehicles into battle, according to a recent report by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey, or InSurv.
More at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/08/navy_lpd18_problems_082508w/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

Mechanical failure keeps troubled amphib at pier
quote:

NORFOLK, Va. – Hydraulic problems have delayed the maiden deployment the amphibious transport dock San Antonio, which was supposed to leave Tuesday with the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group.

The ship, which has endured lengthy delays and cost overruns, had to stay back in Norfolk due to a broken stern gate that will take days to repair, said Lt. Cmdr. Herb Josey, spokesman for Naval Surface Force Atlantic.
More at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/08/navy_sanantonio_082608w/

Comment: A minor glitch but still, the sort of thing the newsies like to carry on about.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Times:

CO: LPD 17 performing well on 1st cruise
quote:

After a torturous journey from the shipyard to its first deployment in August, the amphibious transport dock San Antonio has successfully performed so far on its maiden cruise, the ship’s captain said Friday.

“The ship is doing very well ... and the crew is doing even better. It’s operating as we were designed to operate,”￾ said Cmdr. Kurt Kastner.
For the rest, see http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/10/navy_lpd17_cruise_100308w/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

San Antonio's Advanced Engineering Mission Readiness Effectiveness, Efficiency
quote:

USS SAN ANTONIO, At Sea (NNS) -- New technologies and network-based processes are having a significant impact on USS San Antonio (LPD 17)during their first deployment as part of the USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group.

San Antonio engineering department's new systems are improving efficiency and ensuring mission readiness. One of those new systems is the Engineering Control System (ECS).
More at http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=40181
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Navy Newsstand:

San Antonio Deck Department Puts New Assets To Work on Deployment
quote:

USS SAN ANTONIO, At Sea (NNS) -- While deployed in support of maritime security operations (MSO), the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio's (LPD 17) Deck Department uses new technology and assets that impacts daily shipboard operations.

One of these features is San Antonio's complement of three -- rather than two -- ridged-hull inflatable boats (RHIB) at their disposal.
More at http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=40306
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Flagship:

Marines see USS San Antonio as force multiplier
quote:

USS SAN ANTONIO – “One Team, One Fight.”￾ It is a mantra repeated on almost every ship of the Navy that plays host to Marines. But perhaps no other ship in the Navy can claim this mantra as accurately as the new USS San Antonio (LPD-17), a first-in-its-class amphibious transport dock on its maiden deployment as part of the Iwo Jima Strike Group.

From the beginning, San Antonio was designed with input from Marine Corps representatives who advocated a number of innovations, ranging from sweeping changes in the tactical lift capacity to seemingly trivial design aspects such as making passageways larger and ladderwells less steep. Marines embarked aboard the new ship would soon find changes better than they had expected.
More at http://www.flagshipnews.com/articles/2008/10/20/news/top_stories/top01.txt

Comment: They've come a long way from the embarrassing headlines which were rife a year ago.
 

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