DML 1/700 USS San Antonio LPD 17 First Look
|Date of Review
|USS San Antonio LPD 17
The Navy started development of a new class of Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ships which can embark, transport and deliver over 800 US Marines ashore via landing craft and aircraft. The LPD concept is a streamlined version of the World War II transports that would lower landing craft into the water, then cycle each craft alongside to pick up Marines climbing down the sides of the ship on cargo nets. In the LPD, the Marines can board their craft, the rear of the LPD is partially submerged to flood the well deck in the stern which floats the craft inside allowing each craft to depart the ship directly for shore.
This new class of LPDs, starting with LPD 17 (San Antonio class) replaces the Cleveland and Trenton classes that preceded them. Among the distiguishing features of the San Antonio class:
- Faceted surfaces to reduce radar cross-section at longer ranges
- Integrated masts which replace the vast array of antennas on yardarms
- Newest defensive armament including Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), Bushmaster II, MK46
- Capability to embark CH-46 and MV-22
- Capacity for two LCAC or one LCU
Here is the latest installment in the San Antonio class kits, the actual USS San Antonio LPD 17. DML (Cyber-hobby) released the LPD 21 USS New York previously, after Gallery Models released the first injection molded ship of this class with their 1/350 USS New York kit.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus separately molded hull and display stand.
Some key features of this kit are:
- Choice of waterline or full hull display
- Display stand is included for full hull display
- Nice details provided for the deck
- Four MV-22B with choice of flight ready or stowed wings and propellers
No landing craft are included in this kit as the well deck is best left closed since there is no well deck detailing inside.
This is another nice kit of the LPD 17 class and will be a simple build given that much of the detailing found on the decks of older warships are missing here because those machines/functions are hidden within the superstructure to minimize radar cross-section.
Thanks to DML for this review sample.