The U.S. Navy’s newest America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7), successfully completed builder’s trials on June 19.
The ship returned to the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII)-Ingalls Shipbuilding Division’s shipyard following four days underway in the Gulf of Mexico, testing the ship’s main propulsion, combat and other systems.
Builder’s Trials is the Navy’s first opportunity to assess the operational readiness of the ship. During the trials, the multipurpose amphibious assault ship underwent dock trials followed by more than 200 at-sea test events.
“The Navy and industry team did a commendable job this week,” said Tom Rivers, amphibious warfare program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “America class ships bring tremendous capability to our Sailors and Marines and Tripoli will be the first large deck amphib to reach the fleet fully ready to integrate the Marine Corps air combat element to include Joint Strike Fighters.”
“Congratulations to the Navy and Ingalls team for a solid LHA 7 builder’s trials,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “We have an excellent leadership team, and they will now be focusing on getting the ship ready for acceptance trials and delivery to the Navy. The flight deck modifications to support the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft provide an increased aviation capacity and demonstrate how an experienced team can evolve the platform to meet the current threats across the globe.”
Tripoli is the second ship of the America (LHA 6) class, built to facilitate forward presence and power projection. 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 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.
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 will be 844 feet in length, will have a displacement of approximately 45,000 long tons and will be capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.
Tripoli will be the third ship to bear the name that commemorates the capture of Derna in 1805 by a small force of Marines and approximately 370 soldiers from 11 other nations. The battle, memorialized in the Marines’ Hymn with the line “to the shores of Tripoli,” brought about a successful conclusion to the combined operations of the First Barbary War.
HII’s Pascagoula shipyard is also currently in production on the third vessel of the America-class, the future USS Bougainville (LHA 8), and also the guided missile destroyers Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), 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).