Which is the best
amphibious assault ship in the world? Our Top 10 analysis is based on the combined score
of offensive capabilities, airwing, number of marines and their
equipment carried, and some other factors.
assault ships support marines during landing operations
against defended positions ashore. These warships have a
flight deck and hangar facilities below decks. Typically these ships
operate a mix of helicopters or even VSTOL aircraft. Airwing varies
depending on mission requirements. Also these ships have a
well deck and also support amphibious assault by sea.
Amphibious assault ships
can operate as flagships for expeditionary strike groups.
This list includes
only warships that are currently in service or should be
commissioned in the near future. It does not include retired ships
or vessels that are only planned. This list
also includes multi-purpose warships, that can function as amphibious
top 10 deadliest amphibious assault ships in the world are these:
America class (USA)
the America class amphibious assault ships, are the largest vessels
in this class ever built. These ships are larger than most aircraft
the America class is based on the last ship of the
class. However the new ships have more deck space and larger
hangar facilities to house more aircraft below decks. The lead ship,
USS America, was commissioned with the US Navy in 2014. As of 2015
it is the only active ship of this class. Another ship is under
construction, while the third is planned. America class warships
will eventually replace the ageing
class has been specially optimized for the new
MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor transports and
stealthy STOVL multi-role fighters. Warships of this class can even serve
as small aircraft carrier. These can operate a total of 38
helicopters and STOVL aircraft, including F-35B JSF, MV-22 Osprey,
CH-53E Sea Stallion,
SH-60 Sea Hawk, MH-60 Nighthawk,
AH-1W Super Cobra,
and other. Number of
aircraft and helicopters will vary depending on specific mission
two ships of the class are optimized for aviation. These have no
well decks 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 as they can launch assaults further out from sea.
The following America class ships that are currently planned will
have a well deck, but will carry fewer aircraft.
The America class can
carry 1 700 marines and associated equipment to support them.
The Wasp class is a follow-on from the Tarawa class and its ships
share the same basic hull and engineering plant. The lead ship, USS
Wasp, was commissioned in 1989. At the time if their
introduction the Wasp class vessels were the largest amphibious
assault ship in the world. However currently the new America class
ships are even larger.
the first ships specially designed to operate both
AV-8B Harrier II and a complement of LCAC
Each Wasp class can accommodate up to three LCACs or twelve LCMs
class ships are
capable of embarking a 2 000-strong marine expeditionary unit. The
troops are landed on the beach using landing craft, or deliver
further inland via helicopters. A
total of 61
AAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicles can be carried.
deck has nine landing spots for helicopters and up to 42
Knights could be operated. The class can also deploy
attack helicopters or other transports such as the CH-53E Super
Stallion, UH-1N Twin Huey or the multi-purpose
SH-60B Seahawk. The
Wasp class can operate six to eight
AV-8B Harrier IIs
in the combat role, but can support up to 20.
075 class (China)
of a new type of amphibious assault ships commenced in China in
2011. It was clearly inspired by US amphibious assault ships. The
lead ship was built in an extremely fast pace, considering that it
is a completely new project for China's shipbuilding industry. It
was launched in 2019 and is nearing completion. It should be
commissioned in 2020. The second ship of the class is being built.
There are reports that 3rd ship of the class is also planned.
Construction of these new warships shows high level of resources
China is devoting towards its offensive capabilities. When fully
operational the new Type 075 amphibious assault ships will bolster
China's amphibious capabilities, which today rely on smaller and
less capable Type 071 amphibious transport docks.
The Type 075
class will carry around 30 helicopters. It will carry a mix of
Ka-31. The Type 075 class could also carry VSTOL aircraft, however currently China
has got no suitable aircraft for these warships. Although a related
engine development project is underway.
China's warships will accommodate a couple of landing craft or at
least two Type 726A hovercraft, that are extremely similar to the US LCAC.
Canberra class (Australia)
Australian Canberra class amphibious assault ships are smaller than
similar American ships. The HMAS Canberra was commissioned in 2014.
The second ship is planned to be commissioned in 2016.
were designed by a Spanish company. Design of the Canberra class is
similar to that of the
Carlos I. Australian ships have the same dimensions, as the
Spanish Juan Carlos I, but different internal layout and island
superstructure. Even though both the Spanish Juan Carlos I and
Australian Canberra class ships are multi-functional, the Juan
Carlos I has stronger air wing and the Canberra class ships have
stronger amphibious assault capability.
class ships can carry 1 125 marines. Surge capacity for a short
period of time is 1 600 marines.
warships have two vehicle decks. One of them is for light vehicles.
The other is for heavy vehicles and tanks. The Canberra class can
transport about 45 main battle tanks, or more lighter vehicles.
four LCM-1E landing craft housed in a well deck. These are used for
delivery of troops, vehicles and supplies from ship to shore.
Flight deck has 6 spots for
S-70B Seahawk size helicopters or alternatively up to 4 larger
Chinook size helicopters that can operate simultaneously.
hangar accommodates 8 medium-size helicopters. A room can be made
for additional 10 helicopters in the light vehicle deck. Typical airgroup
is a mix of NH90 transport helicopters and S-70B Seahawk
Canberra class ships have a sky-jump ramps but need some
modifications in order to operate fixed-wing aircraft such as the
F-35B. In the near future there are no plans to operate
fixed-wing aircraft from these ships.
Juan Carlos I amphibious assault ship was commissioned with the
Spanish Navy in 2010. It has similar dimensions to the Australian
Canberra class. However the Spanish warship has different internal
layout and island superstructure. The Juan Carlos I has stronger air
wing, while the Canberra class ships have stronger amphibious
Carlos I was specially designed to operate V/STOL aircraft. It has 8
CH-47 Chinook medium helicopters,
and one spot for
tilt-rotor transport. Vessel can carry up to 30 aircraft, when used
in the aircraft carrier mode.
accommodates 900 marines and can carry up to 46 main battle tanks.
There are 4 mechanized landing craft (LCM) or one hovercraft (LCAC)
in the stern dock for amphibious landing operations.
warship plays an important role with the Spanish Navy.
Mistral class (France)
The first of the Mistral amphibious assault ship was commissioned in 2006.
Currently 3 of these ships are in service with the French Navy.
These are the largest combatants in the French Navy service after
Charles de Gaulle
aircraft carrier. Also 2 more ships are under construction for the
Russian Navy. However delivery of the Russian ships is postponed due
to ongoing military conflict in Ukraine.
Mistral class ship provides accommodation for 450 marines, however
surge capacity is 900. It can carry a full tank battalion with up to
40 main battle tanks,
or up to 70 lighter vehicles.
uses 4 mechanized landing craft (LCM) or 2 hovercraft (LCAC) in the
stern deck to deliver troops and vehicles ashore.
Flight deck has
6 helicopter landing spots. Up to 16 medium (NH90,
or 35 light helicopters can be carried and stored in the hangar
deck. However class can not operate V/STOVL aircraft, as it has got no ski-jump bow associated equipment.
class (South Korea)
class amphibious assault ship is the largest vessel in the ROK Navy.
The lead ship was commissioned in 2007. Currently one Dokdo class
ship is in service, another one is being constructed and the third
The ship is
capable of over-the-horizon landing operations, using high-speed
hovercraft and helicopters. This Dokdo has all necessary equipment
to serve as a flagship of the Korean Navy.
provides accommodation for 700 marines, 10 main battle tanks and 7 AAVs. Some sources
report, that it is
able to load up to 200 trucks or other light vehicles. The ship has
a flooded stern deck. LCMs or LCACs are used to deliver troops and
vehicles to shore.
class supports up to 16 helicopters or tilt-rotors, however normal
complement is 10. With little modifications this ship could operate
HMS Ocean (United
The HMS Ocean is an amphibious assault ship is a sole member of its
class. This vessel was commissioned in 1998.
supports Royal Navy amphibious landing operations.
Hull of the
HMS Ocean is based on
light aircraft carrier
design, with a modified superstructure. This warship was designed to meet
specific needs of amphibious operations.
troop capacity is 480 marines, however for a short periods of time
this ship can accommodate up to 800 marines. The HMS Ocean can carry
six light guns, 40 light vehicles and 34 trailers. It is worth
mentioning that the HMS Ocean is not designed to transport and land
main battle tanks.
uses 4 Lading Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) Mk.5 or 2 Griffon
hovercraft to deliver troops and equipment ashore.
The ship has
a flight deck with 6 landing and 6 parking spots for helicopters.
Typically air wing consists of 12 medium support helicopters (EH.101 Merlin,
Westland Commando) and 6 attack helicopters (Lynx
WAH-64D). The HMS Ocean can transport up to 15
Harrier II aircraft in the ferry role,
however it is unable to operate as an aircraft carrier.
class is a new type of helicopter carriers of the Japan's Marine
The lead ship was commissioned in 2015. The second ship of the class
is under construction.
These are the biggest Japanese warship since the World War II.
class helicopter carriers are multi-role ships. In Japan these
vessels are officially referred as helicopter destroyers. Vessels
bear a strong resemblance to light aircraft carriers.
The Izumo is even larger than Italian
Principe de Asturias
and some other light aircraft carriers. The Izumo class ships can conduct
amphibious operations, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.
This class provides the Maritime Self-Defense Force
with greater force projection capability.
class has a relatively large air wing. The flight deck has 5
helicopter landing spots for simultaneous take-offs and landings.
The ships can carry 14, or possibly even 30 helicopters. Apart from
helicopters these ships can also accommodate
multi-role fighters and
tiltrotor transport. However Japanese officials do not mention this
amphibious operations it can typically carry 400 marines and 50
light trucks (or equivalent equipment). However Izumo class vessels lack a well
deck that dedicated amphibious assault ships have. Troops can be
landed on the beaches mainly via helicopters.
Hyuga class helicopter carrier is smaller that
class warships. Three ships of this class were planned and two
of them are in service.
The Hyuga class
ships resemble light aircraft carriers, such as the Royal Navy's
function of this Japanese warships is anti-submarine warfare.
However these can also conduct amphibious landing operations.
amphibious operations it can carry between 300 and 400 marines.
However there is no well deck and troops are landed on the beaches
mainly via helicopters.
Hyuga class can carry up to 11
Chinooks or quite a few more smaller