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US Navy’s 2nd America-Class Amphibious Assault Ship Joins The Fleet

US Navy’s 2nd America-Class Amphibious Assault Ship Joins The Fleet
Meanwhile, the Navy is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the special event with the USS Tripoli’s sponsor, crew and commissioning committee.

The U.S. Navy commissioned USS Tripoli (LHA 7), yesterday, July 15, 2020. Although the Navy canceled the traditional public commissioning ceremony due to public health and safety restrictions on large public gatherings, the Navy commissioned the USS Tripoli administratively and the ship transitioned to normal operations. Meanwhile, the Navy is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the special event with the USS Tripoli’s sponsor, crew and commissioning committee.

“USS Tripoli is proof of what the teamwork of all of our people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite.

Rear Adm. Philip E. Sobeck, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE, welcomes the Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, and crew, to the amphibious force.

“Tripoli is an example of the continued investment in our Navy, to increase and maintain our edge on the battlefield,” said Sobeck. “Congratulations to Tripoli’s crew for all of your hard work, amidst these challenging times, to reach this milestone. We welcome you to the amphibious force, of combat ready ships and battle-minded crews to go to sea and support sustained combat operations.”

LHA 7 incorporates key components to provide the fleet with a more aviation-centric platform. Tripoli’s design features 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 is the first LHA replacement ship to depart the shipyard ready to integrate the entire future air combat element of the Marine Corps, to include the Joint Strike Fighter.

Along with its pioneering aviation element, LHA 7 incorporates gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and fuel-efficient electric auxiliary propulsion systems first installed on USS Makin Island (LHD 8). LHA 7 is 844 feet in length, has a displacement of approximately 44,000 long tons, and will be capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.

Tripoli’s commanding officer, Capt. Kevin Myers, highlighted Tripoli’s accomplishments over the past several months getting through initial sea trials. The hard work and dedication of the entire team during the past few years was evident in the successful execution of at-sea testing.

“Being the third ship to bear the Tripoli namesake is a profound honor and this crew stands ready to carry on the legacy of our longstanding Navy and Marine Corps amphibious community,” said Meyers. “These sailors and Marines will pave the way for those still to come. What’s remarkable is seeing the dedication, perseverance and resilience these new plank owners have shown since day one, and more recently, through uncertain times as the Navy and nation work through a pandemic. There is no doubt in my mind that this team is ready to answer the nation’s call at any time or place.”

 

LHA 7 is the third Navy ship to be named Tripoli. The name honors and commemorates the force of U.S. Marines and approximately 370 soldiers from 11 other nationalities who captured the city of Derna, Libya, during the 1805 Battle of Derna. The battle resulted in a subsequent peace treaty and the successful conclusion of the combined operations of the First Barbary War, and was later memorialized in the Marines’ Hymn with the line, “to the shores of Tripoli.”

Naval News comments

The America-class is a class of 45,000 tons landing helicopter assault (LHA) type amphibious assault ship meant to replace the Tarawa-class able to carry carry 1060 crew members with an embarkation up to 1650 Marines. Eleven America-class ships are planned.

They can be deploy about 30 aircraft such as F-35B Joint Strike Fighters; AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters; UH-1Y Venom attack helicopters; CH-53E Super Sea Stallion helicopters; MV-22 Osprey; MH-60S Search and Rescue helicopters.

The first two ships in the class have no well deck for amphibious warfare, they are dedicated to air operations. The next five will feature a well deck, allowing the operation of landing craft such as LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion) and LCU (Landing Craft Utility) but slightly reducing the space for aircraft on board.

Main specifications:

Displacement: 45000 tons

Length: 257m

Beam: 32m

Speed: 20 knots

Propulsion: 2 gas turbine developing 52000 KW and 2 auxiliary engines (3700 KW)

Defensive weapons systems include .50 caliber machine guns, Phalanx and RAM close in weapon systems, Sea Sparrow surface to air missiles and decoy launchers.

 

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