The US Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Tripoli, the newest aircraft focussed America class amphibious assault ship, from Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Amphibious assault ships project power and maintain presence by serving as the cornerstone of the amphibious ready group or expeditionary strike group. These ships transport elements of a US Marine expeditionary unit or expeditionary brigade with a combination of aircraft and landing craft.
Unlike vessels to be built after her, the Tripoli and her sister America have been designed with the well deck removed to allow more room for aircraft and aviation fuel. Many have likened these vessels to ‘light carriers’ or ‘Mini F-35 carriers’.
The removal of the well deck for landing craft allows for an extended hangar deck with two significantly wider high bay areas, each fitted with an overhead crane for aircraft maintenance.
Optimised for aviation capability, Tripoli will enhance US Marine Corps aviation with an enlarged hangar deck, greater maintenance capability, and JP-5 fuel capacity.
“On behalf of the entire team, I am grateful to take delivery of this versatile warfighting asset,” said Tom Rivers, amphibious warfare program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships.
“The Navy and industry team has worked persistently to deliver this platform, ready to integrate the Marine Corps air combat element, including the Joint Strike Fighter, to our combatant commanders.”
LHA 7 incorporates the fuel efficient gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and electric auxiliary systems first installed on USS Makin Island, say the builders.
“LHA 7 will be 844 feet in length, will have a displacement of approximately 44,971 long tons, and is capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.”
With Tripoli delivered, the ship will focus on moving crew aboard and preparing for commissioning and sailaway later this year.