U.S. Navy to Commission Newest Amphibious Assault Ship Future USS Tripoli Next Week

The U.S. Navy is scheduled to commission its newest America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7), next week.

According to the Navy, the vessel will be commissioned during a ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi on 15 July 2020. Due to public health safety and restrictions on large public events, the commissioning ceremonies for the ship will take place administratively.

Once commissioned, the vessel will be homeported in San Diego, California. The ship is expected to proceed directly from Pascagoula to San Diego shortly after the commissioning.

Future USS Tripoli (LHA-7)

The future USS Tripoli (LHA-7), now Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Tripoli, is the second America-class amphibious assault ship built for the United States Navy.

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 completed her builder’s trials on June 19 and acceptance trials in October last year. She was officially delivered to the Navy by  Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding Division on Feb. 28 this year.

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) Sea Trials
The U.S. Navy’s future amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA 7) transits the Gulf of Mexico during builder’s trials held on July 15, 2019. Photo by Derek Fountain/Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).

The future USS Tripoli is is the third U.S. Navy ship named for the Battle of Derne in 1805. It was the decisive victory of a mercenary army led by a detachment of United States Marines and soldiers against the forces of Tripoli during the First Barbary War. It was the first recorded land battle of the United States fought overseas.

Amphibious assault ships project power and maintain presence by serving as the cornerstone of the amphibious ready group or expeditionary strike group. These ships transport elements of the U.S. Marine Corps’ (USMC) Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) or Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) with a combination of aircraft and landing craft.

LHA 7 incorporates the fuel-efficient gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and electric auxiliary systems first installed on Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). LHA 7 will be 844 feet in length, will have a displacement of approximately 44,971 long tons, and is capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.

The future USS Tripoli is the last Flight 0 America-class LHA 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.

Optimized for aviation capability, Tripoli will enhance Marine Corps aviation with an enlarged hangar deck, greater maintenance capability, and JP-5 fuel capacity.

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