Amphibious Assault Ship, Wasp Class
The Wasp class is the Navy’s largest amphibious ship. At 844 feet long and a beam of 106 feet, its full load displacement is 40,650 tons of fighting steel. With an armament of two rolling airframe missile launchers, two NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, three 20mm Phalanx close in weapon system mounts, four .50 cal machine gun mounts and four 25 mm MK 38 machine gun mounts. It can carry 12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, 4 CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters, 6 AV-8B Harrier attack aircraft, 3 UH-1N Huey helicopters, 4 AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters, and 8 MV-22B Osprey, vertical takeoff and land tilt rotors aircrafts. The ship serves as the cornerstone for the amphibious ready group and supports the Marine Corps tenets of operational maneuver from the sea and ship to objective maneuvers. It is designed to sail into harm’s way and provide a rapid buildup of combat power ashore in the face of opposition. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice.
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