The U.S. Navy’s second America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7), completed acceptance trials when she returned to the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII)-Ingalls Shipbuilding Division’s shipyard following three days underway in the Gulf of Mexico.
During the underway, the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) performed a rigorous evaluation on all of the ship’s major systems including propulsion, communications, navigation, combat systems, and aviation capabilities.
The construction of LHA 7 began in July 2013, and the ship’s keel was laid in a ceremony on 20 June 2014 in Pascagoula. Tripoli was christened on 16 September 2017, with Lynne Mabus (wife of former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus) as her sponsor. The vessel is expected to be commissioned in the summer of 2020.
“The capability that our large deck amphibs bring to the fight is tremendous,” said Tom Rivers, amphibious warfare program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “Their ability to embark Joint Strike Fighters and MV-22 Osprey enable this versatile platform to increase the lethality of our expeditionary warfighters.”
Tripoli is the second ship of the America (LHA 6) class, built to facilitate forward presence and power projection. 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 45,000 long tons and is capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.
LHA 7 is the last Flight 0 ship planned for construction and features an enlarged hangar deck, realignment, and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, an increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity. LHA 8 (future USS Bougainville) will 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.
“There’s been a lot of hard work accomplished to get LHA 7 to this point”, said Capt. Nathan Schneider, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair Gulf Coast. “The team’s focus is now on delivering the LHA 7 to the fleet in the best possible condition, fully capable and ready to deploy if called upon.”
HII’s Pascagoula shipyard is also currently in production on Bougainville (LHA 8), 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).