Large Amphibious Landing Ship

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Bay-class Large amphibious landing ships are a new class of amphibious warfare ships of the British Royal Navy.[1] They are part of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Lineage

The new Bay-class vessels replace earlier Sir Lancelot-class Landing Ships Logistic (LSL) such as the RFA Sir Galahad (sunk during the Falklands War) and RFA Sir Tristram (damaged but rebuilt). These ships were originally designated Alternative Landing Ship Logistic [ALSL].[2]

Capabilities

For warfare, they would operate in company with Landing Platform Dock (Replacement) (LPD(R)), which are the amphibious warfare command ships in the RN. The bulk of equipment and troops would be aboard the LASLs. In some cases, they would form a larger Amphibious Ready Troop in company with HMS Ocean, a helicopter carrier and currently the largest ship in the RN.[3]

They are larger, and, as opposed to the LSL, do not need to beach themselves to unload, but can hold position, without anchoring, using thrusters. While in position, they discharge cargo with landing craft, helicopters, and powered rafts.

Typically, they would carry 356 Royal Marines with vehicles, although there is capacity for an additional 154 troops.[1]

As do U.S. Landing Ship Dock vessels, these ships have a "well deck" that can be flooded at sea, from which landing craft can proceed under their own power. This technique is much safer and more effective than the Second World War practice of either lowering the smaller landing craft from the decks of transports, or having larger landing craft limit the speed of the amphibious force.

General characteristics

  • Length: 176 meters
  • Beam: 26.4 meters; 32.2 meters while carrying Mexeflotes powered rafts
  • Draft: 5.8 metres
  • Displacement: 16,160 tonnes
  • Speed: 18 knots (Maximum)
  • Ship's crew: Approx 60
  • Military Lift Troops: 356
  • Landing Craft: 2 x LCVP or 1 x LCU Mk10
  • Mexeflotes (powered rafts): 2 (Transported fixed to hull sides)
  • Vehicle deck: Approx 1200 linear meters
  • Aviation facilities: CH-47 Chinook capable flight deck

References