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The US Navy have christened its newest America class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli.

Mr. Thomas Dee, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy said:

“When USS Tripoli, the newest America-class amphibious assault ship, joins the fleet, we’ll be a stronger, more flexible, and better Navy and Marine Corps team,” Dee said. “The ship will be a force multiplier, and her crew will proudly serve our country for decades to come. I am grateful to the men and women of Ingalls Shipbuilding for their dedication and to the citizens of Pascagoula for their unwavering support as we continue to make our Navy stronger.”

According to the US Navy, the Tripoli will incorporate key components to provide the fleet with a ‘more aviation centric platform’. The design of the future Tripoli will feature an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity.

The ship will also be the first LHA replacement ship to depart the shipyard fully ready to integrate the entire future air combat element of the Marine Corps to include the Joint Strike Fighter.

The US Navy said:

“Along with its pioneering aviation element, LHA 7 will incorporate a gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and fuel efficient electric auxiliary propulsion systems first installed on USS Makin Island (LHD 8).

LHA 7 will be 844 feet in length, have a displacement of approximately 45,000 long tons and be capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.”

39 COMMENTS

    • You are absolutely right. I’m sure American shipyards would be very happy to build such a vessel for the RN. Sadly, the price may be prohibitive? However, the construction of four supply ships in South Korea demonstrates the RN’s attitude when it comes to choosing suppliers.

      • It would make sense though right? I mean these LHDs already have the ability to operate the F-35, they’re a proven design and costs for repairs and parts will be cheap and plentiful since America has so many

  1. According to Wikipedia they’ve decided that not having a well dock was a mistake and are adding them to the next ships so this second one, USS Tripoli, will be the last one without a well dock. Also, at the $3.4bn price per ship quoted in Wikipedia there is no way our defence budget could afford this. Even if it could though, I’m not sure it would make sense for us to spend that much on a single vessel lest we end up in the French CdG situation where the ship becomes unavailable for extended periods due to maintenance and refits. A couple of Canberra class for similar cost maybe but I think we have to accept that that sort of money just isn’t available in the current budget or any near-term future budget that I can envisage.

    • Julian – Absolutely fair points on affordability. Some might argue given the huge US structural deficit, its mammoth national debt and its frequent ‘sequestration’ rows it can’t afford to keep building as many ships as it does. It has 8 Wasp Class LHDs and three (this is the second) America Class LHAs on order. That is 11 42,000+ ton ships requiring some 22,000 people and hundreds of aircraft.

      But the USA will never stop feeding $ Bns of US taxpayer money to suppliers like Boeing, Ingalls and Newport News while it seems happy to make healthcare un-affordable for its citizens

      • When they spend more on their military than the rest of the world put together who would call in that debt if they refused to pay? A good junk of their liabilities are held by the saudi’s once their oil runs they will be in some fix.

      • unaffordable healthcare, it was fine until oboze messed with it, he made it unaffordable, costing most at least $6,000 a year with a $6,000 deductible to use up before it kicks in, the only ones that benefited were those on welfare and they got it before for free anyhow! Its the law here that a hospital cant refuse to treat someone because they cant pay ! Health care can be made better with competition, thats why restrictions on crossing State lines are being lifted!

        • Charles – without opening up the Obama scars can you answer three questions please?
          1. If US health care is so beneficial and affordable why do Americans make entire lifetime career choices based on the health care insurance offered?
          2. If US health care is so ‘efficient’ why does the nation spend over 12% of its GDP on it while a national ‘free at point of use’ system as used here in the UK (or Germany, France or others) cost the nation some 8%?
          3. Why does the ‘richest nation on earth’ need insurance companies to make profits providing what is a basic human right and, one might say, a Government’s duty?

          And as an observation yes you may well be treated but the ensuing invoice will bankrupt you. And yes I have lived and worked in the USA.

          • NO IT IS NOT a basic human right. Nor is it a government duty. There are these wonderful concepts called personal responsibility, personal honor/integrity, and accountability. Those are each individuals duties not something they should pawn off on their fellow man.

            Also stick to your own slowly failing NHS which has nurses living near the poverty level while ones in the US make a real income. This is a defense site the topic of conversation was a assault ship keep social arguments elsewhere. Above all else stick to your own societal ills.

          • Elliott – Well there we are. So someone can die and its not your problem its theirs? Wow ….
            We choose to discharge the societal and personal duties as you describe by combining our mutual purchasing power to keep the costs down but provide a universal provision. Our aims are the same as yours we just differ on method. And delivery. So please don’t level criticism of the NHS as ‘pawning off’. That is just nonsense and a very typical US Conservative attitude. Do you understand the difference between social Capitalism and Socialism?

            Nurses here are not ‘at poverty level’ at all. Maybe come up with facts before making political sideswipes from the Far Right. They earn £22,000 in their first year plus additional weighting allowances. With bonuses, and other compensation, an RN with less than 20 years of experience may earn up to £34,105. Children’s nurses enter their careers with a starting salary of £40,028 with £40,000-£70,000 (ARN, Nurse Researcher, Midwives, Paediatric Endocrinology Orthopaedic, Gerontological NP, and Nurse Commission Managers) typically being paid. That Sir places them in the highest tax band!

            Yes it is a Defence site but defence costs money which makes other topics relevant if that defence is seen to be overly costly. We have to balance many social demands against defence with a determination to reduce our deficits and debt. Something the USA seems not to worry about.

          • Well Chris, Why do Canadians with a a national ‘free at point of use’ system come to America for treatment and surgeries ? Lines are long in Canada, and when you reach a certain age, treatment is no longer available there, because the government dictates the treatment for all. Here first of all if you are poor, medicaid takes care of you, so there is no reason for anyone to get go into major debt for treatment and for those who do have debt, if you make an attempt to pay, even at $10 a month, the hospital cant come after you. Liberal judges and frivolous law suites have caused many problems, but competition will drive prices down. Not happy with a doctor or treatment here, we can change, can you? Yes dont want to open up the oboo scars, worst President we have ever had

          • They make much less than what a established nurse or pa in the US makes and pay SIGNIFICANTLY more in taxes and cost of living. I am well aware of the what 20yr nurse in the UK makes it was not them I was talking about, I am rarely in agreement with Corbyn but I do here a starting pay for full time work at 22,000£ when the median income for full time is 27k once factoring in tax rent cost of living is simply unacceptable. A sane student wouldn’t waste their time and money learning a trade for a benefit 15-20yrs away.

            On US Libertarian/Conservative economic philosophy it is not nonsense, it is the attitude of a man who was born poor and clawed my way out of being that way. There is nothing wrong in expecting the same from anyone else. Societies duty is to provide for the common defense and enforce the law so citizens can go about their lives. Nothing else is in the governments remit. Financial security and property acquired throughout ones life belongs only to oneself and when they die whoever they leave it to. Governments should only tax what is necessary to supply the military and enforce the law and build the roads anything else is outright theft.

            Whether or not one wishes to help the sick and donate to charity and medical research should be a matter of personal choice. Otherwise you only encourage leeching off the government largess. A democracy only lasts until people feel they have the right to keep using the government to take what isn’t theirs.

    • Julian, interesting post which suggests the difference in cost of USS Tripoli isn’t that far removed from that of the QEC.

      • Jack – well $3.4 Bn vs $5 Bn makes the QE nearly 50% more expensive and the America Class needs 1900 crew while the QE needs 1700 with an air wing. But then the USA isn’t actually short of people. Personally I think it looks a great ship (when the loading dock is fitted in later ships) but I just question the need for so many ships. They plan to build 11 of these in addition to the 8 Wasp Class
        And they seem to have followed our idea of twin Gas Turbine power units.

        • America and Tripoli have the GT turbine power units of the Makin Island which was launched 11 years ago.

          America is in the Gulf at present but it would be a superb view of America and Tripoli together in San Diego.

        • Chris the cost of HMS Queen Elizabeth in USD is around $4 Bn not 5.
          So its a long way from being 50% more expensive than USS Tripoli. We aren’t about to buy a UK equipped version of USS Tripoli.

          • Also, if we strip out the extra costs incurred from Gordo Brown putting the build into slow motion for a while (I’ve read figures of £1bn added to the total QEC carrier costs because of that) and the design study costs of our flip-flop between F-35B to F-35C and then back again (a couple of hundred million?) then one of our carriers might have even been cheaperthan an America class.

            In fairness, there might well be un-necessary political meddling costs in the America class build as well, and also the Wikipedia costs is derived from simply dividing the initial order for 3 ships by 3 and, similar to the T26 discussions, it is unclear how accurate a picture that gives of ongoing unit costs. Then again, the QEC costs included all the one-off costs so maybe that last point isn’t particularly relevant here.

          • Jack – I was using the simple idea that the declared cost of a QE @ £3.5 Bn equated to $5 Bn at last year’s exchange rates. I have seen it used in many articles

            Using today’s rates the Tripoli costs circa £2.6 Bn

            And I never suggested we were buying a UK spec ‘Tripoli’.

  2. I realise that the cost puts the America class out of our reach but hey,folks play fantasy Royal Navy on here every day. However should the US Navy decide to replace the Wasp class LHAs as each America enters service surely a pre loved Yankie barge of this type could serve us very well.

    • The Wasp class requires over a thousand sailors to crew it. Remember it’s twice the size of the old Invincible carriers. It’d be like having three carriers.

      • Doesn’t hurt to dream though,does it ?
        Budget,personnel,retention and recruitment put them out of reach,I realise that,but government should make a REAL effort to make a service career attractive to our younger generation.

        • so would second hand nuclear supercarriers there are a few at the bremerton inactive ships yard we could have had one, refitted and made ready before the q e was built, we wouldn’t have needed the f 35b.

  3. I’m afraid this is an either or situation. There is no way could we could afford the QEC and an Ocean replacement of this ilk. If an LHD is acquired it would need to be far cheaper to buy and run. I cannot see us having one though, simply not enough money or sailors.

    Better to direct money to the frigates and SSNs.

  4. Considering that this sub-class was intended from the start to operate F35bs, I fail to understand why they were not built with a ski jump. Even one of smaller proportions to that fitted on the QEs would increase take off weight and improve safety margins without reducing the number of helicopter landing spots.

  5. The USMC operation of the F35B is different to the UK.

    The F35Bs are to be transported by the LHA ships to the combat zone, forward air bases are established in newly won occupied land territory and the F35B will then be deployed from the ships to those bases from which they will carry out their combat missions.

    Any combat missions required in the initial amphibious assault phase will be conducted using USN and USMC F18E/F and F35C aircraft operating from the aircraft carriers.

    So no need for a ski ramp for LHA ships.

  6. Given that these are smaller than the QE carriers it would be great to see on IN Portsmouth Harbour, rather than outside it (off Stokes Bay). Is this ever likely to happen, anyone have any idea?

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