SPECIFICATIONS PHOTOGRAPHS(Click on the pictures for an enlarged photo)

Last Updated: December 11, 2015

Designation: LHA(R)
Displacement: 45,000 t
Length: 844 feet (257.3 meters)
Beam: 106 feet (32.3 meters)
Elevators: 2
Speed: 24 knots
- 2 x GE LM 2500+ gas turbines
- 2 x shafts
Crew: - 1060 crew
- 1700 Troops
Aircraft (Normal):
- 10 F-35B JSF
- 12 MV-22 OspreyVTOL Assault Aircraft
- 04 CH-53E Super Stallion Assault Helos
- 04 MH-60S Nighthawk
- 08 AH-1Z Viper Attack Helos
Aircraft (Sea Control):
- 22 F-35B JSF
- 04 MH-60 SeaHawk
- 04 Other helo/vtol
- 2 x RAM (42 missiles)
- 2 x ESSM (16 missiles)
- 2 x 20mm CIWS
- 3 25 mm Mk 38 cannons
- 6 x .50 cal MGs
Ships in class: 2

LHA(R)-6 USS America (In Service)
LHA(R)-7 USS Tripoli (Building)
The USS America, LHA-6 was launched on June 5, 2012. She completed outfitting in Septemebr 2013, and then successfully completed builder's sea trials in November 2013. In late 2013, she was handed over to the U.S. Navy and after US Navy Trials, was commissioned into the US Navy on October 11, 2015.

The LHA(R) America Class are the largest amphibious assault vessels ever built. Displacing over 45,000 tons each when fully loaded, the vessels are larger than most other nations aircraft carriers, which they closely resemble. These amphibious warships are uniquely designed to support the US Marines Aviation Combat Element (ACE) philosophy including assault from the sea against defended positions ashore and Sea Control Air operations using enhanced numbers of strike fighters.

The America Class LHA(R) will replace the LHA 1, Tarawa class of amphibious assault ships, and will have the flexibility to operate in the traditional role as the flagship for an Expeditionary Strike Group as well as potentially playing a key role in the maritime pre-positioning force of the future(MPFF).

Air Assault and Sea Control Optimized:
The LHA(R) will be U.S. Navy's newest multifunctional and most versatile, amphibious assault ship and has been specifically optimized for aircraft, particulalry the MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft and the new J-35B VTOL Strike fighter. The current plan is for the first two America class to provide this increased aviation capability, vehicle lift, cargo magazine capacity, better survivability, increased habitability standards and greater service life margins. As such the design includes enlarged hangar facilities to house more aircraft below decks and to more fully service them. There will be no well deck on these first two vessels in cLAss, so no amphibious assault by sea is supported directly from the first two LHA(R) class vessels using LCACs or LCUs.

The air assault role is optimized for conducting larger air assault operations from much further out, allowing troops to arrive on scene more quickly and the LHA(R) to be better protected from its station further out to sea. In the air assault role, a typical air wing of the America and her sister ACE vessel would be as followd:

- Air Assault Aiw Wing
- 10 F-35B JSF Strike Fighters
- 12 MV-22 Osprey VTOL Tilt-Rotor Assault Aircraft
- 08 AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters
- 04 CH-53E Super Stallion Assault Helicopters
- 04 MH-60S Seahawk SAR Helicopters.

The America also has the capability and is designed to function as a "Sea Control: aircraft carrier, conducting sea lane protection, area denial, and war at sea function. In this role her typical air wing would include:

- Sea ControlAiw Wing
- 22 F-35B JSF Strike Fighters
- 06 MH-60R Seahawk ASW Helicopters

In addition, as an ACE optimized vessel and number of Aviation Combat Element (ACE) configurations are possible, varying the amount F-35B Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) STOVL aircraft; MV-22 Osprey VTOL tiltrotors; CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters; UH-1Y Huey helicopters; AH-1Z Super Cobra helicopters; MH-60S Seahawk helicoptersare also supportable depending on the specific mission requirements.

Three traditional LHA vesse4ls to follow:
The following three America Clas vessels however, are currently planned to have a well deck similar to those found in the WASP Class LHD Vessels, only somehat smaller, holding only two LCACs instead of three. In this role, those vessel will support more traditional amphibious assault operations, as well as air assault operations. A typicl air wing in the Amphibious Assault role for the follow on three vessels would be very similar to the Wasp class, particularly LHD-8, USS Makin Ilsanld which they will resemble very closely.:

- Amphibious Assault Aiw Wing
- 12 MV-22 Osprey VTOL Tilt-Rotor Assault Aircraft
- 08 CH-53E Super Stallion Assault Helicopters
- 06 F-35B JSF Strike Fighters
- 04 AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters
- 04 MH-60S Seahawk SAR Helicopters.

All of the vessels will be capable of embarking 1,670 US Marines and the equipment to support them, the America class carries all of the equipement necessary to provide air assault or amphibious assault (depneding on the variety of vessel) on the objectives of those marines, while giving them the logistical, command and control, close-air support (through its embarked wing of VSTOL fighter bombers), and the hospital support they require while doing so.

Network Centric Cooperative Engagement:
The America class will also use a fiber optic network and employ the more capable SPQ-9B radar and the US Navy's Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC).



LAST UPDATED: December 11, 2015


Jeff Head is an engineering consultant with many years experience in the power, defense, and computer industries. He currently works for the federal government helping maintain and protect regional infrastructure. He is a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, and is also the author of a self-published and best-selling series of military techno-thrillers called the Dragon's Fury that projects a fictional third world war arising out of current events. You can learn more about that series by clicking on the pictures of the novel covers below:


Copyright 2005-2015 by Jeff Head


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