Hmmm...looks like they are preparing to go to the new LX(R) design where the same LPD hull will be used without the integrated masts and with other modifications for the LX(R) requirment.
Austal Delivers Brunswick (T-EPF 6)
Mobile January 15, 2016 - Austal Limited is pleased to announce that Expeditionary Fast Transport 6 (T-EPF 6) was delivered to the U.S. Navy on January 14 during a ceremony aboard the ship at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, USA.
The delivery of the USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6) marks the first ship in its class Austal has delivered to the Navy in 2016.
Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said it’s a testament to the dedication and skill of Austal’s work force.
“The EPF program is now mature and stable. The entire team at Austal USA has much to be proud of in achieving this. It’s a great ship and a great program,” Mr Bellamy said.
Three additional EPF, formerly Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV), remain under construction in Mobile as part of a 10-ship, US$1.6 billion block-buy contract from the U.S. Navy. The future USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) will be christened in January 2016 and will launch soon after, while modules for Yuma (T-EPF 8) and City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility. Construction of Burlington (T-EPF 10) is expected to begin later in 2016.
T-EPF 11 and 12 were fully funded by Congress in the 2015 and 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bills. Shipbuilding contracts for EPF 11 and 12 have not yet been finalised however the Navy awarded Austal a $54 million contract in October to fund long lead materials for T-EPF 11.
The 12th San Antonio class, LPD-28, has been funded and will soon start building. Huntington Ingalls has shown a model of it that indicates it will be a bridge to the new LX(R) design.US Navy said:PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- The future USS Portland (LPD 27) was successfully launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard Feb. 13.
The ship was transferred from the land level facility to the drydock, which was then flooded allowing her to float off the blocks.
"Every milestone in the construction of a ship is significant, but seeing the ship float out of drydock is visually one of my favorites," said Capt. Darren Plath, LPD 17 Class Program Manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. "I'm looking forward to sea trials, delivery and other exciting milestones."
The ships are designed to support embarking, transporting, and landing elements of over 800 Marines with both a flight deck which accommodates CH-53 helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and a well deck that can launch and recover landing craft and amphibious vehicles.
LPD 17 class ships are versatile players in maritime security with the ability to support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs), or Joint Task Forces (JTFs). In addition to performing their primary mission, San Antonio class ships have supported anti-piracy operations, provided humanitarian assistance, and foreign disaster relief operations around the world.
Portland will be the 11th San Antonio class ship delivered by HII which is also currently in the final stages of production on the future John P Murtha (LPD 26).
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.
I believe that is very close, if not spot on.I found the following illustraiotn of the changes from LPD-17 to the LPD-17 Flight II / LX(R), don't know how accurate that still is:
So if the LX(R), with 50% medical capacity, 500 instead of 800 troops embarked, space for 2 Ospreys and 2 LCAS or 1 LCU, is roughly a 60% San Antonio, then this transitional LPD-28 is a single ship 80% San Antonio?
At least it's going to streamline the in-service hulls. Waiting to see what that hull will become after LX(R) ...
02.24.2016...Singapore Air Show, the company Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) exhibited amphibious assault ship. Very ambitious project for the Republic of Singapore.