What kind of ship is this?
July 24, 2018 4:53 PM   Subscribe

This was spotted near Naval Base San Diego, and identifying it has been driving us nuts. The profile does not correspond to anything we can find. Help us, AskMe!
posted by Tell Me No Lies to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
Oh, if you look at it right it appears to be two different ships. It's not, it's a single ship we saw coming and going.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:01 PM on July 24, 2018

Can you say when and exactly where it was spotted?
posted by gemmy at 5:04 PM on July 24, 2018

Could it be a submarine?
posted by Morpeth at 5:09 PM on July 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

The bit at the front looks a bit like a ramp, which makes me think it is a landing craft of some kind - like a US Army landing ship, rather than a navy ship?
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:17 PM on July 24, 2018

It stikes me as a submarine. Although the con-tower is usually at the front, which would mean this ship is running in reverse.
posted by humboldt32 at 5:19 PM on July 24, 2018

It looks like a Landing Craft Utility. There is a variety, and these ships are typically transported aboard an amphibious assault ship.
posted by JamesBay at 5:21 PM on July 24, 2018

It's so, so much longer than a LUC.

Are you certain this was Navy? Did you see markings? I can't make anything out, other than the gray marine paint.
posted by Miko at 5:23 PM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Former military here though not Navy. This is most definitely not a submarine because if you go by the wake trail intersecting the stern, this places the "fins" at the front and the "conning tower" far in the back, and there's no diving planes visible... it looks all wrong. The "fins" are actually the loading ramp of a small ship, and the view is highly foreshortened, so it gives an illusory effect.

I'm going with JamesBay with it being a landing craft, probably a larger one than the typical one. It looks a lot like this (scroll past the helicopter banner), but I'm not sure which model exactly.
posted by rolypolyman at 5:41 PM on July 24, 2018

When was it spotted?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:47 PM on July 24, 2018

Also: it might not even be a US craft. Are there any joint exercises happening in San Diego at the moment? (or whenever this pic was taken)
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:53 PM on July 24, 2018

The picture was taken yesterday afternoon in San Diego bay. I'm not at all familiar with San Diego but I'm told that is the San Diego Naval Station in the background.

I didn't take the picture but I'm told the ship was naval grey and they couldn't make out any markings.

I had given up on its being a landing craft due to it's length, but rolypolyman's picture is making me reconsider that.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:58 PM on July 24, 2018

That looks like an Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) Causeway Ferry.
posted by RichardP at 6:07 PM on July 24, 2018 [22 favorites]

Oh heck yeah I reckon RichardP has it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:25 PM on July 24, 2018

Oh hell yeah. Thanks RichardP.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:49 PM on July 24, 2018

For the curious, here's an overview of the Improved Navy Lighterage System. tl;dr: it's a series of modular floating things that can be assembled into ramps to offload stuff from boats to shore.
posted by Nelson at 7:49 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

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