USS Cayuga (LST-1186)


USS Cayuga (LST-1186) port view.jpg
Cayuga, 1979
United States
Name: USS Cayuga
Namesake: Cayuga County, New York
Ordered: 15 July 1966
Builder: National Steel & Shipbuilding, San Diego, California
Laid down: 28 September 1968
Launched: 12 July 1969
Sponsored by: Mrs. Luther C. Heinz
Commissioned: 8 August 1970
Decommissioned: 26 August 1994
Stricken: 23 July 2002
Honors and
2 x battle star
Fate: Transferred to Brazil, 24 January 2001
Name: Mattoso Maia
Acquired: 24 January 2001
Commissioned: 30 August 1994
Status: In active service
General characteristics as built
Class and type: Newport-class tank landing ship
  • 4,793 long tons (4,870 t) light
  • 8,342 long tons (8,476 t) full load
  • 522 ft 4 in (159.2 m) oa
  • 562 ft (171.3 m) over derrick arms
Beam: 69 ft 6 in (21.2 m)
Draft: 17 ft 6 in (5.3 m) max
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) max
Range: 2,500 nmi (4,600 km; 2,900 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Troops: 431 max
Complement: 213
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 2 × Mk 63 GCFS
  • SPS-10 radar
Armament: 2 × twin 3"/50 caliber guns
Aviation facilities: Helicopter deck

USS Cayuga (LST-1186) was a Newport-class tank landing ship of the United States Navy which replaced the traditional bow door-design tank landing ships (LSTs). The vessel was constructed by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, California and was launched in 1969 and commissioned in 1970. Cayuga took part in the Vietnam War and Gulf War in American service. Decommissioned in 1994, the LST was transferred to the Brazilian Navy the same year on loan and renamed NDCC Mattoso Maia (G 28). The ship was purchased by Brazil outright in 2001. Mattoso Maia is currently in service.

Design and description

Cayuga was a Newport-class tank landing ship which were designed to meet the goal put forward by the United States amphibious forces to have a tank landing ship (LST) capable of over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). However, the traditional bow door form for LSTs would not be capable. Therefore, the designers of the Newport class came up with a design of a traditional ship hull with a 112-foot (34 m) aluminum ramp slung over the bow supported by two derrick arms. The 34-long-ton (35 t) ramp was capable of sustaining loads up to 75 long tons (76 t). This made the Newport class the first to depart from the standard LST design that had been developed in early World War II.[1][2][3]

The LST had a displacement of 4,793 long tons (4,870 t) when light and 8,342 long tons (8,476 t) at full load. Cayuga was 522 feet 4 inches (159.2 m) long overall and 562 ft (171.3 m) over the derrick arms which protruded past the bow.[2][3] The vessel had a beam of 69 ft 6 in (21.2 m), a draft forward of 11 ft 5 in (3.5 m) and 17 ft 5 in (5.3 m) at the stern at full load.[4]

Cayuga was fitted with six Alco 16-645-ES diesel engines turning two shafts, three to each shaft. The system was rated at 16,500 brake horsepower (12,300 kW) and gave the ship a maximum speed of 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) for short periods and could only sustain 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) for an extended length of time. The LST carried 1,750 long tons (1,780 t) of diesel fuel for a range of 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km; 2,900 mi) at the cruising speed of 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph). The ship was also equipped with a bow thruster to allow for better maneuvering near causeways and to hold position while offshore during the unloading of amphibious vehicles.[3][5]

The Newport class were larger and faster than previous LSTs and were able to transport tanks, heavy vehicles and engineer groups and supplies that were too large for helicopters or smaller landing craft to carry.[6] The LSTs have a ramp forward of the superstructure that connects the lower tank deck with the main deck and a passage large enough to allow access to the parking area amidships. The vessels are also equipped with a stern gate to allow the unloading of amphibious vehicles directly into the water or to unload onto a utility landing craft (LCU) or pier. At either end of the tank deck there is a 30 ft (9.1 m) turntable that permits vehicles to turn around without having to reverse.[1][2] The Newport class has the capacity for 500 long tons (510 t) of vehicles, 19,000 sq ft (1,800 m2) of cargo area and could carry up to 431 troops.[1][7] The vessels also have davits for four vehicle and personnel landing craft (LCVPs) and could carry four pontoon causeway sections along the sides of the hull.[2][3]

Cayuga was initially armed with four Mark 33 3-inch (76 mm)/50 caliber guns in two twin turrets. The vessel was equipped with two Mk 63 gun control fire systems (GCFS) for the 3-inch guns, but these were removed in 1977–1978.[3] The ship also had SPS-10 surface search radar.[8] Atop the stern gate, the vessels mounted a helicopter deck. They had a maximum complement of 213 including 11 officers.[6]

Construction and career

United States Navy service

The ship was ordered as part of the Fiscal Year 1966 group of eight on 15 July 1966.[6][9] The LST was laid down on 28 September 1968 at San Diego, California, by the National Steel & Shipbuilding Corporation. Named for the county in New York, Cayuga was launched on 12 July 1969, sponsored by the wife of Vice Admiral Luther C. Heinz, Commander of Amphibious Forces, Atlantic. The vessel was commissioned on 8 August 1970. Following commissioning, Cayuga was assigned to the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet and home ported at Long Beach, California. The LST alternated amphibious training operations along the west coast of the United States with deployments to the Far East. Cayuga earned two battle stars for Vietnam service.[10]

In May 1972, Cayuga, USS Schenectady, USS Manitowoc, and USS Duluth were part of Operation Song Than 6-72, an amphibious landing of Marines in support of the defense of Huế City in South Vietnam. Cayuga and Duluth were fired on by North Vietnamese Army artillery during the assault on 24 May 1972. The destroyer USS Hanson and other gunfire support ships silenced the opposing guns to cover the retreat of the landing ships.[11]

Cayuga and Amphibious Squadron 5 (PHIBRON 5) participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990/1991. PHIBRON 5 joined the rest of the US amphibious forces in the North Arabian Sea after sailing across the Pacific. The unit and returning to its port in Long Beach in April 1991 after an extended deployment. Cayuga carried elements of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit's (13th MEU) Battalion Landing Team 1/4.[12][a] On 30 October 1990, Cayuga was its Marines were detached and sent to train with United Arab Emirates forces. At the end of October, the 13th MEU set out for its return to the United States.[14]

Brazilian Navy service

Cayuga was decommissioned 26 August 1994 and leased to the Brazilian Navy. The vessel was recommissioned into the Brazilian Navy on 30 August and renamed NDCC Mattoso Maia (G 28), for Admiral Jorge do Paço Mattoso Maia, Minister of the Navy 1958–1961.[9][15][b] On 19 September 2000 the ship was purchased outright by Brazil.[15] On 23 July 2002, Cayuga was struck from the United States Naval Vessel Register.[9]


  1. ^ PHIBRON 5 was composed of Cayuga, USS Durham, USS Fort McHenry, USS Ogden and USS Okinawa.[13]
  2. ^ The spelling "Mattoso" was normal at the time though, after spelling reforms, "Matoso" is now more usual for the former minister; the spelling of the ship's name remains unchanged.[16]


  1. ^ a b c Blackman 1972, p. 504.
  2. ^ a b c d Gardiner, Chumbley & Budzbon 1995, p. 621.
  3. ^ a b c d e Couhat 1986, pp. 655–666.
  4. ^ Moore 1975, p. 486.
  5. ^ Moore 1976, p. 614.
  6. ^ a b c Moore 1974, p. 467.
  7. ^ Moore 1978, p. 690.
  8. ^ Sharpe 1990, p. 761.
  9. ^ a b c Naval Vessel Register
  10. ^ DANFS.
  11. ^ Melson 1991, pp. 98–100.
  12. ^ Brown 2000, pp. 11, 15, 44.
  13. ^ Brown 2000, p. 11.
  14. ^ Brown 2000, p. 55.
  15. ^ a b Saunders 2004, p. 71.
  16. ^ "USS Cayuga". NavSource. NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 16 February 2016.


  • Blackman, Raymond V. B., ed. (1972). Jane's Fighting Ships 1972–73. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company. OCLC 28197951.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Brown, Ronald J., ed. (2000). U. S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990–1991: With Marine Forces Afloat in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Washington, D.C.: History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7881-8563-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Couhat, Jean Labayle, ed. (1986). Combat Fleets of the World 1986/87. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85368-860-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • "Cayuga (LST-1186)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen & Budzbon, Przemysław, eds. (1995). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Melson, Charles D. (1991). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The War That Would Not End (PDF). Washington, D.C.: History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. ISBN 978-0-16-035971-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Moore, John, ed. (1974). Jane's Fighting Ships 1974–75 (77th ed.). New York: Franklin Watts Incorporated. ISBN 0-531-02743-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Moore, John, ed. (1975). Jane's Fighting Ships 1975–76 (78th ed.). New York: Franklin Watts Incorporated. ISBN 0-531-03251-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Moore, John, ed. (1976). Jane's Fighting Ships 1976–77 (79th ed.). New York: Franklin Watts Incorporated. ISBN 0-531-03261-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Moore, John, ed. (1978). Jane's Fighting Ships 1978–79 (81st ed.). New York: Franklin Watts Incorporated. ISBN 0-531-03297-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
  • Sharpe, Richard, ed. (1990). Jane's Fighting Ships 1990–91 (93 ed.). Surrey, United Kingdom: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0904-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2004). Jane's Fighting Ships 2004–2005 (107 ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: Jane's Information Group Inc. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links