The US Navy has received the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7), its second America-class amphibious assault ship, from shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding Division.
The 257-meter ship was delivered on February 28, five years after a keel-laying ceremony in June 2014 marked the official start of construction.
With Tripoli delivered, the navy will focus on moving crew aboard and preparing for commissioning and sailaway to its San Diego homeport later this year.
America-class ships are designed to enhance Marine Corps aviation, and are capable of supporting the tilt-rotor MV-22 Ospreys and the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. Compared to conventional amphibious assault ships, the America-class design sacrifices the well deck in favor of an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage of parts and equipment and an increased aviation fuel capacity.
The lead ship in the class was commissioned in 2014 and is currently serving as the flagship of the US 7th Fleet forward-deployed amphibious force in Sasebo, Japan.
“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.”
HII’s Pascagoula shipyard is also currently in production on the third America-class Bougainville (LHA 8) – which will have a well deck unlike its two predecessors, the guided missile destroyers Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), Frank E. Peterson (DDG 121) Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), and amphibious transport dock ships, Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28) and Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).