Force Projection- That phrase has many meanings. First and foremost is the combat power of the naval airwings on the carriers of the USN. However, warships cannot seize real estate, it takes the mud marine or the dogface to go in and do the dirty work, upclose and personal. Quite often the infantryman will need the support of armor and self- propelled artillery. The most efficient way to deliver this support in a coastal area, without a port in friendly control, is the Tank Landing Ship (LST).
The USS Newport and her 19 sisterships were designed as modern equivalents of the Tank Landing Ships (LSTs) of World War Two. This class has a light weight of 4,793 but balloons up to 8,450 tons full load. The Newport went into service in 1969 and served until 1992, when she and her sisters were decommissioned. The ships of the class had the ability to transport 2,000 tons of cargo or 500 tons for beaching on 1,765 square meters of deckspace. The ships had the capacity to transport 23 AAV-7A1 armored personnel carriers (APCs), or 29 M-48 tanks (used by the Marines), or 41 2 ½ Ton Cargo Trucks (Deuce and a Halfs) on the tank deck, which had a turntable at both ends. They could also carry 29 2 ½ ton trucks on the upper deck. They normally carried three LCVPs and one LCP in Welin davits. To fuel and arm the vehicles, the class had the capacity to carry 141,600 gallons of vehicle fuel plus ammunition. Further, the ships had berthing capacity for a small battalion of ground forces (20 officer and 380 enlisted). Bow thrusters were used to provide minute adjustment of the bow for ramp deployment. There was a stern ramp did provide flexibility in loading/unloading of vehicles.
(LST-1179) VITAL STATISTICS
Dimensions: Length- 159.2 m (171.3 m over
horns); Beam- 21.18 m; Draught- 5.3 m aft
and 1.8 m forward (Obviously, a shallow forward draught is a significant
design feature in the mission of an LST) Displacement: 4,793 tons
light; 8,450 tons full load
Armament: four 76.2 mm (3 inch) 50 cal guns (2x2) Mk. 33 DP; one 20mm CIWS (Atlantic Fleet units); two or four 12.7mm (50 cal) MGs.
Machinery: Six Alco 16-251 or GM 16-645-E5 diesel engines; 16,500 bhp; 22 knots (20 knots sustained) Range: 2,500 nm at 14 knots
Complement: 13 officers, 174 enlisted; Ground Force Berthing- 20 officers, 380 enlisted
Sisterships: Manitowoc (LST-1180), Sumpter (LST-1181), Fresno (LST-1182), Peoria (LST-1183), Frederick (LST-1184), Schenectady (LST-1185), Cayuga (LST-1186), Tuscaloosa (LST-1187), Saginaw (LST-1188), San Bernadino (LST-1189), Boulder (LST-1190), Racine (LST-1191), Spartanburg County (LST-1192), Fairfax County (LST-1193), La Moure County (LST-1194), Barbour County (LST-1195), Harlan County (LST-1196), Barnstable County (LST-1197), Bristol County (LST-1198)
They had a 34m long, 75 ton capacity (M1A1 tank is rated at 70 tons) mobile aluminum ramp on the bow, which was linked to the tank deck and further linked to the upper deck by a second ramp. Four pontoon causeway sections could be stored aft on the sides of the ships to allow unloading of the vehicles onto the beachhead. For quick transport of light forces, they had a 242 square meter helicopter landing deck aft. Two 10 ton cranes were provided for unloading of cargo. (The bulk of the information above is from Combat Fleets of the World 1993 can also be found in other issues of Combat Fleets.)
The next largest castings are the causeway sections. My kit had six of these sections, although apparently only four were carried. They are well executed with delineation of individual pontoon sections, bollards and treadway detail. Their inclusion by Cascade is very nice, as it allows the model to be built with the causeways stored on the side of the ship or deployed in front of the ship. Another option of special merit is the inclusion of the unloading ramp for the bow. Again the modeler is given the option to build the kit portraying the ship as underway with parts for a closed bow and the ramp covering the forward well or with the landing apparatus deployed with the landing ramp extended.
Seventy detailed life raft baskets are provided in the kit. Deck fitting not cast into the hull include the two unique bow ramp support horns and the deck bollards. Cascade provides 21 delicately cast bollard fittings and the two bow ramp horns are easily fitted ton the bow. Other small parts include two detailed 3 inch twin mounts, various platforms, ramp horn outriggers, superstructure walkways, boom support tower, radar, bow anchor and ships boats. Some additional optional small resin parts provided are a deck tractor, CH-47 Chinook twin rotor helicopter and one landing craft (LCM). All of these parts are nicely done and appear to be easily removed from their resin runners. Plastic rods are provide for mast and yards.
The Cascade Modelwerks USS Newport is available directly from Joe D’Amato, the owner of Cascade, or from Pacific Front and other retail vendors.