Compared to other cargo ship types, these ships could carry landing craft, were faster, had more armament, and had larger hatches and booms. Their holds were optimized for combat loading, a method of cargo storage where the items first needed ashore were at the top of the hold, and those needed later were lower down. Because these ships went into forward combat areas, they had Combat Information Centers and significant amounts of equipment for radio communication, neither of which were present in other cargo ships.
As amphibious operations became more important in World War II, planners saw the need for a special kind of cargo ship—one that could carry both cargo and the LCM and LCVP boats with which to deliver it to the beach, and that carried guns to assist in air defense and shore bombardment. Specifications were drawn up, and beginning in early 1943, the first 16 U.S. Attack Cargo Ships were converted from Navy cargo ships that had previously been designated AK. During the course of the war, 108 such ships were built; many of them were converted from non-military ships, or started out as non-military hulls.
Attack cargo ships played a vital role in the Pacific War, where many were attacked by kamikazes and other aircraft, and several were torpedoed, but none were sunk or otherwise destroyed. Nine AKA's were present at the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945:
After the war, many AKA's were put into the National Defense Reserve Fleet. Others were converted for uses such as oceanographic surveying, undersea cable laying, and repairing other ships.
Six more amphibious cargo ships, somewhat larger and of improved design, were built between 1954 and 1969.
In 1969, the U.S. Navy redesignated all its AKA attack cargo ships as LKA amphibious cargo ships. At the same time, the other "A" designations of amphibious ships were changed to similar "L" designations. For example, the all the APAs were redesignated as LPAs.
In the 1960s, both the United States Navy and the Royal Navy developed amphibious transport docks which gradually took on this unique amphibious role and today have assumed it completely. The last amphibious cargo ship in the U. S. Navy, USS El Paso (LKA-117), was decommissioned in April, 1994.
Libya,Spain,United States : LIBYAN AIRLINES and SPANISH GOVERNMENT Inks Totals US $136 Million Deals with BOMBARDIER
Jan 04, 2013; Bombardier Inc. has sold four aircraft to Libyan Airlines and the Spanish government in deals worth around US$136 million. A firm...