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Amphibious transport docks could host missile defense systems.

* Huntington Ingalls Industries is in discussions with defense officials about potentially putting missile defense radars and laser weapons on San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks.

"You can put a lot of additional weight on the ship and you can put ... some modern technologies like ballistic missile defense radars that are very heavy," Brian Cuccias, corporate vice president at HII and president of Ingalls Shipbuilding, told reporters. "We think it's a great idea."

"You have a design life margin .... on some ships that say you can only take so much more weight before you have a stability issue or, you know, you don't have your margins," he said. "When you close in the well deck of the LPD ship you expand that capability to take a lot of weight, and the stability on LPD is such you can actually put weight up high" where missile defense radars would be positioned.

One of the challenges of hosting ballistic missile defense radars is the need to power them and cool them, Cuccias noted. "You need arrangeable volume for power generation. You need arrangeable volume to have cooling," he said. "LPD allows for that. ... The basic bones of the ship allow that to take place."

Cuccias would not say which officials have discussed the idea with him. "We're talking about it and so there is some interest, but that's as far as I really want to go," he said, adding that he believes interest is "growing."


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Title Annotation:From the National Defense Blog
Comment:Amphibious transport docks could host missile defense systems.(From the National Defense Blog)
Publication:National Defense
Date:Feb 1, 2016
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