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Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress

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Technical Report

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Congressional Research Service Washington United States

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The LXR program is a program to build a new class of 11 amphibious ships for the Navy. The Navy wants to procure the first LXR in FY2020. LXRs are to replace 12 aging Whidbey IslandHarpers Ferry LSD-4149 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 Navys San Antonio LPD-17 class amphibious ship as the Navys preferred alternative for the design of the LXR.The Navys proposed FY2016 budget requested 46.5 million in research and development funding for the LXR program, and 550 million to complete the estimated procurement cost of a 12th LPD-17 class amphibious ship.

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