PASCAGOULA, Miss. – The amphibious assault ship America (LHA 6) completed acceptance trials off the coast of Pascagoula, Miss., Jan. 31.
During the trials the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) performed rigorous tests and evaluated all of the ship's major systems, including combat, propulsion, communications, navigation, mission systems and aviation capabilities. The successful completion of the trials brings the ship one step closer to delivery.
“The ship performed extremely well,” said Capt. Chris Mercer, Amphibious Warfare program manager for the Program Executive Office, Ships. “There were no major deficiencies identified. This marks a tremendous achievement for any ship, made only more impressive by America’s size, complexity and that the ship is the lead ship for the amphibious assault replacement program. We are very proud of this successful trial and look forward to America soon joining the fleet.”
The America class replaces the aging Tawara class, and is a modified repeat of the Wasp class, optimized for aviation and capable of supporting current and future aircraft capabilities such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 and the Joint Strike Fighter. The ship’s aviation-centric design includes space for an enlarged hangar deck with increased aviation parts stowage capacity, expanded aviation maintenance facilities and increased aviation fuel capacity.
LHA 6 is 844 feet in length, reaches speeds of over 20 knots and displaces 44,971 tons. The ship will use the same gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution and electric auxiliary systems designed and built for USS Makin Island (LHD 8), replacing the maintenance intensive steam plants of earlier ships. This unique auxiliary propulsion system is designed for fuel efficiency.
With delivery planned for spring 2014, the future USS America will support a wide spectrum of military operations and missions, including forward presence and power projection as an integral
part of joint, interagency and multinational maritime expeditionary forces, maritime security and humanitarian and crisis response.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets — while balancing affordability and capability — is key to supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy.