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HII launches 1st America-class amphibious assault ship

Tugboats guide the amphibious assault ship America (LHA 6) to her berthing place on Monday at Ingalls Shipbuilding. The Ingalls-built amphibious transport dock Arlington (LPD 24) can be seen in the background. An HII photo

PASCAGOULA (BNS): Days after it received a contract to build the second America-class amphibious assault ship for the US Navy, Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has launched the first and lead ship of the series, America (LHA 6).

The warship was launched from the company's floating drydock on June 4.

The vessel, weighing more than 29,000 tons in its current state, became one of the largest objects moved across land when it was translated to the drydock two weeks ago. Following additional planning and preparation, the launch process occurred utilising the drydock's ballast system on Monday afternoon, and the ship floated free, HII said.

The shipbuilder had received the contract from US Navy in June 2007 to build LHA 6.

It received the second contract last week to design and construct Tripoli (LHA 7), the next America-class warship.

LHA 6 and LHA 7 are the first two ships in the new America class of amphibious assault ships. The ships are 844 feet long and 106 feet wide and will displace 44,971 long tons. The gas turbine propulsion system will drive the ships in excess of 20 knots.

Each of the large-deck warships will accommodate 1,059 crew (65 officers) and 1,687 troops. It will be capable of carrying a Marine Expeditionary Unit, including Marine helicopters, MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.

Carrying a complement of F-35s will allow it to serve the role of a small aircraft carrier, according to HII.

The warships are being designed with an increased aviation capacity, including an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity.

The LHA 6, which will replace USS Tarawa (LHA 1), is set to be christened on October 20.


US Navy  warship  HII  

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