Home Americas US Navy’s second America-class LHA ready for action after completing FCT

US Navy’s second America-class LHA ready for action after completing FCT

USS Tripoli
CH-53E Super Stallions conduct flight operations aboard amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA 7), June 22, 2021. Photo: US Navy

USS Tripoli (LHA 7), the second of the US Navy’s America-class amphibious assault ships designed with a focus on launching F-35B fighters from their flight decks, has completed final contract trials (FCT).

Tripoli completed FCT on August 26, marking the end of its post-delivery test period and also the final in-depth review of the ship, the crew, and its systems.

The trials were conducted by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey over a four day period and consisted of both in-port and at-sea evaluations. The at-sea phase included full power runs, demonstrations of combat systems, simulated damage control situations and other events designed to fully flex the ship’s crew and its systems.

“Tripoli is ready to significantly contribute to a larger, more lethal and more ready fleet,” said Capt. Cedric McNeal, program manager, Amphibious Warfare Programs, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “With the completion of FCTs, this platform is one step closer to providing significant capability and power projection to our sailors.”

LHA 7, commissioned in July 2020, incorporates components to provide the fleet with a more aviation-centric platform. The ship’s design features an enlarged hangar deck, aviation maintenance facilities realignment and expansion, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity.

Unlike the first two ships in the class, follow-on ships will not be sacrificing their well deck in favor of an enlarged hangar deck and more space for aviation maintenance facilities. Instead, they will be reincorporating a well deck to enhance expeditionary warfighting capabilities while maintaining the principal aviation characteristics of the Flight 0 ships.

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

In addition to completing FCT, Tripoli recently also conducted its first combat system ship qualification trials to demonstrate its weapons systems’ ability to effectively engage and destroy incoming threats in an operational environment. The ship will continue with its post shakedown availability before eventual fleet tasking.

USS Tripoli is homeported in San Diego. The ship is assigned to Amphibious Squadron 7.