The San Antonio-class (LPD-17) is a landing platform dock (LPD) built by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII)—formerly Northrop Grumman Ship System—for the US Navy and Marine Corps in replacement of the aging fleets of amphibious ships commissioned in the ’60s—including the Austin-class LPDs, the Newport-class tank landing ships, the Anchorage-class dock landing ships, and the Charleston-class amphibious cargo ships. These sea-based platforms are expected to reliably deliver the so-called’ mobility triad’ of the Marine Corps, including advanced amphibious assault vehicles (AAAVs), landing craft air cushions (LCACs), and the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft anywhere in the world.

As modern warfare shifted toward utilizing more sophisticated technology, the Navy initiated its LPD 17 program by late 1996, starting with the first landing platform to be built by HII alongside General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Raytheon Electronic Systems, and Intergraph Corporation. Apart from keeping up with 21st-century technology, the program aimed to integrate a more survivable warship equipped with improved fragmentation, nuclear blast protection, and a shock-hardened structure. Moreover, reducing costs by significantly cutting the number of the crew down to 360 through automation but has maintained, if not doubled, the capacity to accommodate more vehicles, landing craft, and aircraft on deck. Thus, making it more reliable in bulk arsenal transport and boosting its capability to do recovery missions.

Accordingly, the class ships are estimated to be more than 45 percent larger than the Austin class, with a length of about 684 feet, 105 feet width, and a displacement of more than 25,000 tons at full load. The ship overall uses steel in its hull and is equipped with a low radar cross-section. Most, especially the latest San Antonio-class LPDs, featured more modern systems.

As mentioned, ships under the class have a more spacious landing deck capable of accommodating at least two Sikorsky CH-53E, six Bell AH-1W, and four Boeing CH-46 helicopters or two Boeing Bell MV-22 Osprey aircraft. Meanwhile, inside the hangar deck, the amphibious landing platform a large enough aviation maintenance facilities to conduct repair and maintenance on these aircraft.,