Assault ships provide an ‘amphibious’ capability – the landing of troops and equipment from sea via helicopters or by landing craft onto the shore.
The RN has 2 modern LPDs (Landing Platform Dock) HMS Bulwark & HMS Albion. Specialist ships designed to land troops on shore quickly using landing craft floated out from a dock in the stern of the ship. HMS Albion has been ‘mothballed’ at Devonport as part of the 2010 defence cuts.
The RN has 1 LPH (Landing Platform Helicopter) HMS Ocean, built rather cheaply and somewhat slow, but still useful for landing large numbers of troops ashore using helicopters. Can embarked Army Air Corps Apache helicopters which can partly mitigate for absence of fixed-wing ground-attack capability.
The RFA operate 3 ‘Bay’ class LHD(A) (Landing ship helicopter/dock auxiliary). Increasingly these ships are being used in other roles to make up for the lack of frigates and destroyers.