Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress [December 17, 2015] [open pdf - 810KB]
"The LX(R) program is a program to build a new class of 11 amphibious ships for the Navy. The Navy wants to procure the first LX(R) in FY2020. LX(R)s are to replace 12 aging Whidbey Island/Harpers Ferry (LSD-41/49) class amphibious ships, the first of which will reach age 40 in 2025. The primary function of Navy amphibious ships is to lift (i.e., transport) U.S. Marines and their equipment and supplies to distant operating areas, and enable Marines to conduct expeditionary operations ashore in those areas. Although amphibious ships are designed to support Marine landings against opposing military forces, they are also used for operations in permissive or benign situations where there are no opposing forces. An October 20, 2014, press report stated that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus had signed a decision memorandum dated October 14 designating a design based on that of the Navy's San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship as the Navy's preferred alternative for the design of the LX(R). The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requests $46.5 million in research and development funding for the LX(R) program, and $550 million to complete the estimated procurement cost of a 12th LPD-17 class amphibious ship."
CRS Report for Congress, R43543
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html