- Albion class landing platform dock
The "Albion" class is a class of
landing platform dock, and are the newest amphibious assault vessels in the Royal Navyfleet. The class consists of two vessels, HMS|Albion|L14|6 and HMS|Bulwark|L15|6 and they were ordered in 1996 under a programme known as LPD(R) (Landing Platform Dock (Replacement)) to replace the aging "Fearless" class. Both ships were built by BAE Systems Marineat the former VSEL yard in Barrow-in-Furness. "Albion" commissioned on June 19, 2003and "Bulwark" on July 12, 2004.
The class gives the Royal Navy the ability to land heavy forces as the ships operate the
Landing Craft UtilityMark 10, capable of taking a Challenger 2 tankor all other heavy armoured vehicles that the United Kingdomoperates. The well deck can operate four such LCUs. The ships carry 305 military personnel on board in normal conditions and another 650 for short emergency periods. The vehicle decks are capable of carrying up to six Challenger 2 tanks, six L118 105 mm Light Guns and up to sixty-seven various support vehicles and trailers. They do not have hangars but have a 64-metre flight deck and landing spots capable of accepting a Chinook helicopter or two aircraft up to the size of the Merlin HC3 or Sea King HC4. Each ship operates a Hippo BARV (Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle) to assist in landing operations. The Hippo is a conversion by ALVIS Moelv of a Leopard 1A5 tank into a military crawler tractor. The Hippo has a tractive effortof 250 kN (56,000 lbf), a fording depth of convert|2.95|m|ft|abbr=on and can pull vehicles up to 50 tonnes weight or push off from the beach a 240 tonne displacement landing craft.
The class offers numerous improvements over their "Fearless" class predecessors and 60% of their equipment was new to naval service when introduced http://navy-matters.beedall.com/albion.htm Navy Matters | Albion class LPD(R)] . The
state-of-the-artCombined Operations Room which is an electronically advanced "amphibious battle-staff co-ordination cell" that has 72 workstations for the naval task group and amphibious landing forceshttp://www.naval-technology.com/projects/lpd/ Naval Technology LPD(R) Albion Class] . The class also features - the Royal Navy's first - integrated full electric propulsion system, reducing engine-room personnel by around two-thirds, allowing for a total reduction in personnel of 40%. The new Mark 10 LCU allows for roll-on/roll-offoperations, assisting vehicle loading operations in the well deck.
Royal Navy in the 21st century
List of amphibious warfare ships of the Royal Navy
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