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Keel Laid For Amphibious Warship Tripoli

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus delivers remarks during the keel-laying ceremony for the amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA-7). US Navy Photo

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus delivers remarks during the keel-laying ceremony for the amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA-7). US Navy Photo

The keel for the next-generation amphibious warship Tripoli (LHA-7) was laid in a ceremony at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. on Friday.
The ceremony marked the official start of construction for the second America-class landing helicopter dock for the U.S., following the $3 billion first-in-class America (LHA-6) — which plans to commission later this year.

“Like America, Tripoli boasts a very credible and capable aviation centric design that replaces the Tarawa class of amphibious assault ships,” Capt. Christopher Mercer, Amphibious Warfare Program Manager within Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships said in a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) statement.
“The design brings with it increased capabilities and will maximize the Navy’s investment in future aircraft.”

America (LHA-6) returns to Ingalls Shipyard Jan. 31, 2014 from acceptance trials. US Navy Photo

America (LHA-6) returns to Ingalls Shipyard Jan. 31, 2014 from acceptance trials. US Navy Photo

Each of the 45,000-ton ships in the class are optimized for modern Marine aircraft like the MV-22 tilt-rotor Osprey and the short takeoff-vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

However, America and Tripoli were designed without a well deck — which allows a ship to take on and disembark amphibious landing craft — much to the protest of the Marine Corps.

LHA-8 will be redesigned to incorporate a well deck into the design.

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Categories: Budget Industry
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.