Home Americas HII gets $107M for US Navy’s fourth America-class amphibious assault ship

HII gets $107M for US Navy’s fourth America-class amphibious assault ship

USS Tripoli
USS Tripoli during builder's trials. Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries

The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division a fourth contract modification worth $107 million for long-lead-time material and advance procurement activities for amphibious assault ship LHA 9.

This modification brings the total advance funding for LHA 9 to $457 million.

The yet-to-be-named LHA 9 will be the fourth America-class amphibious assault ship HII has built for the navy. The first two, USS America, and USS Tripoli, have already been commissioned, while the third is currently under construction.

“The amphibious warship production line is a critical component of our nation’s defense industrial base,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson said. “This funding will strengthen our suppliers and sustain jobs across the country in support of LHA 9 construction.”

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 first two ships in the America-class sacrifice 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 US Navy earlier said that Bougainville (LHA 8) would be the first Flight I ship, reincorporating a well deck to enhance expeditionary warfighting capabilities while maintaining the principal aviation characteristics of the Flight 0 ships.

With a typical air combat element embarked, an LHA ship can be equipped with five F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, four AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, two UH-1Y Venom attack helicopters, four CH-53E Super Sea Stallion helicopters, 12 MV-22 Osprey, and two MH-60S search and rescue helicopters.