Naval drills between JS Shimokita Japanese tank landing ship and USS New Orleans

According to a tweet published by the U.S. Navy on August 24, 2021, San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans conducted an exercise with Osumi class tank landing ship JS Shimokita.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans and Osumi-class landing ship tank JS Shimokita (Picture source: U.S. Navy)

JS Shimokita (LST-4002) is the second ship of the Ōsumi-class landing ship tank of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

The Ōsumi class is a Japanese amphibious transport dock. The class is also known as the Osumi class. While the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) describes the Ōsumi class as tank landing ships (LSTs), they lack the bow doors and beaching capability traditionally associated with LSTs. Functionally, their well deck makes the Ōsumi class more like a dock landing ship (LSD).

The Ōsumi class enables the transport of ground troops to strategic locations, and the rescue of civilians in case of large scale natural disaster. The hull features armored and opening deck. The rear of hull houses an armored landing deck for two large CH-47 helicopters. The well dock in the rear of the ship houses the two Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) hovercraft. Forward, there is a 100 m (328 ft 1 in) deck below the main deck, but the single elevator accessing these spaces is too small for anything but a small helicopter. A VSTOL aircraft or a larger helicopter will simply not fit on the elevator. These spaces below the forward main deck are used primarily for vehicle storage so those fighting and/or armored vehicles can access the well deck.

The USS New Orleans (LPD-18) is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock into service with the U.S. Navy. She was commissioned on 10 March 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The San Antonio class was designed to provide the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps with modern, sea-based platforms.