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America class

Amphibious assault ship

America class

The America class is the largest amphibious assault vessel ever built



Entered service expected in 2013
Crew 1 060 men
Sea endurance ?
Dimensions and displacement
Length 257 m
Beam 32 m
Draught ?
Displacement, standard ?
Displacement, full load 45 000 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 24 knots
Gas turbines 2 x GE LM 2500+
Cargo
Troops 1 700 men
Aircraft
Fixed wing F-35B
Helicopters AH-1W SuperCobra, CH-53 Sea Stallion, UH-1Y Huey, SH-60 Sea Hawk, MH-60 Nighthawk, V-22 Osprey
Armament
Artillery 2 x 20-mm Phalanx CIWS, 3 x Mk.38 cannons
Missiles 2 x RAM launchers, 2 x ESSM launchers

 

   The America class is the US Navy's latest amphibious assault ship. This class of warships is intended to support US Marines during amphibious landing operations against defended positions ashore. America class ships can operate as flagships for expeditionary strike groups. Vessels can also perform sea control operations, using onboard strike fighter aircraft, or serve as small aircraft carriers.

   The USS America is the first ship of the class. It was launched in 2012 and is currently undergoing final outfitting before the sea trials. It will be commissioned with the US Navy in 2013. A contract for construction of the second ship, USS Tripoli, was awarded in 2012. Currently three more ships of this class are planned. The America class will eventually replace the ageing Tarawa class.

   The design of the America class is based on that of the USS Makin Island, which is the last ship of the Wasp class. Currently the America class ships are the largest amphibious assault vessels ever built. These are larger than most aircraft carriers.

   The America class has been specially optimized for the new MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor transport aircraft and F-35B VTOL strike fighter. Vessel has enlarged hangar facilities to house more aircraft below decks. This amphibious assault ship has two elevators.

   First two vessels of the class will operate a total of 38 helicopters and VSTOL aircraft. These include F-35B JSF, MV-22 Osprey, UH-1Y Huey, CH-53K Supper Stallion, SH-60 Sea Hawk, MH-60 Nighthawk, AH-1W SuperCobra. Number of aircraft and helicopters will vary depending on specific mission requirements.

   There are no well decks on the first two America class ships. The USS America and USS Tripoli are optimized for aviation and do not support amphibious assault by sea. Marines are delivered ashore by helicopters. Such delivery method allows troops to arrive more quickly and much further out. Also the vessels are better protected when launching assaults further out from sea. The following three America class ships that are currently planned will have a well deck, similar to that of the Wasp class, but will carry fewer aircraft.

   The America class can carry about 1 700 marines and associated equipment to support them.

   These amphibious assault ships are armed with two RAM launchers (42 missiles), two ESSM launchers (16 missiles), two 20-mm Phalanx close-in weapon systems (CIWS), three 25-mm Mk.38 cannons.

   Propulsion is provided by two General Electric LM 2500+ gas turbines, driving two shafts. It replaced the maintenance intensive steam plants of earlier amphibious assault ships.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
USS America (LHA-6) 2009 2012 2014

active, in service

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) 2014 ? expected in 2018

under construction

? ? ? ?

planned

? ? ? ?

planned

? ? ? ?

planned

 

Video of the America class amphibious assault ship

 
America class

America class

America class

America class

America class

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