Albion Class, Landing Platform Dock Ships (LPD’s) primary function is to
embark, transport, and deploy and recover (by air and sea) troops and
their equipment, vehicles and miscellaneous cargo, forming part of an
Amphibious Assault Force.
They each carry 4 x LCU's Mk 10.
The LPD is more than just another vessel for the Royal Navy. To appreciate
the significance of this new Assault Ship requires an understanding of the
background against which they were conceived and the essential roles both Albion
and Bulwark will perform.
Amphibious operations are complex, involving as they do the
interface of land, sea and air forces. The naval unit tasked with
performing the central role of overall command, control and communications
with units of the Amphibious task force is the LPD.
The Albion and Bulwark replace the old LPD Assault Ships HMS
Fearless and Intrepid. Commissioned in the early 60s, the old LPD
performed the essential command and naval HQ function for the Royal
Navy’s amphibious capability alongside the modified Centaur Class
commando carriers Albion and Bulwark with which they were
Intrepid covered the withdrawal of British Troops from East of Suez
and the extraction of British forces from Aden in 1967. In 1969 she became
the first RN warship to be fitted with the Skynet satellite communications
Despite their invaluable service, the old LPD's were scheduled for imminent
but premature disposal in the 1981 Defence Review. The Falklands conflict
in 1982 served to highlight their continuing usefulness, prompting a rapid
reversal of the disposal order and resulting in their reprieve and ongoing
Whilst Fearless was ruled out of playing a role in the 1990 Gulf
War, she did play a key flagship role in the task group assembled for the
potential Kosovo intervention by the UK’s 3 Commando Brigade Royal
Marines. Having been stood down with other vessels she did play a key part
in the multi-national exercise Bright Star off Egypt in 1999 and also in
the UK/Omani joint coalition exercise Saif Sareea (II) in 2002.
The availability of an LPD to act as a HQ vessel and launch assault troops
by landing craft and helicopters is fundamental to the UK’s Amphibious
Ready Group concept and this is the vital role which the new LPD's will
perform. They will enable Britain’s amphibious forces to operate with
greater effectiveness whenever the need arises – whether keeping peace
afloat, projecting forces ashore, or undertaking humanitarian roles. Their
introduction into service will significantly enhance the amphibious
operating capability of the Royal Navy, NATO and any future European
Note : Background details from Royal Navy Website.
- Class Ship
- LCU Mk10