USS Tripoli (LHA 7)
Tripoli is the second ship of the America (LHA 6) class, built to facilitate forward presence and power projection. LHA 7 is the last Flight 0 ship planned for construction and features an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, an increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity. LHA 8 will be the first Flight I ship, reincorporating a well deck to enhance expeditionary warfighting capabilities while maintaining the principal aviation characteristics of the Flight 0 ships. LHA 7 incorporates gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and fuel-efficient electric auxiliary propulsion systems first installed on USS Makin Island (LHD 8). LHA 7 will be 844 feet in length, will have a displacement of approximately 45,000 long tons and will be capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.
The Navy's newest America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7), successfully completed Builder's Trials 19 July 2019. The ship returned to the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII)-Ingalls Shipbuilding Division's shipyard following four days underway in the Gulf of Mexico. Builder's Trials is the Navy's first opportunity to assess the operational readiness of the ship. During the trials, the multipurpose amphibious assault ship underwent dock trials followed by more than 200 at-sea test events.
"The Navy and industry team did a commendable job this week," said Tom Rivers, amphibious warfare program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "America class ships bring tremendous capability to our Sailors and Marines and Tripoli will be the first large deck amphib to reach the fleet fully ready to integrate the Marine Corps air combat element to include Joint Strike Fighters."
On 01 May 2017 Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched the amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA 7) from its floating dry dock. The launch was accomplished 13 weeks ahead of the original construction schedule. Tripoli was successfully launched after the dry-dock was flooded to allow it to float off for the first time.
"Ingalls has been the Navy's large-deck amphib builder since the early 1970s," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. "Our vast knowledge and experience in the design and construction of these great ships is paying dividends—not only for the American taxpayer, but also for the Navy-Marine Corps team and the sailors and Marines who will be operating these important warships in defense of our country."
Tripoli, the second of the America-class amphibious assault ships, was translated to the company's floating dry dock on April 8 and, after some prep work on the ship's hull, was launched on Monday. The next ship in the class, Bougainville (LHA 8), is scheduled to start construction in late 2018.
Fabrication of Tripoli started in July 2013. The second America-class amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA 7) being constructed at a Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. LHA 7 is the third Navy ship to be named Tripoli. The name honors and commemorates the force of U.S. Marines and approximately 370 soldiers from 11 other nationalities who captured the city of Derna, Libya during the 1805 Battle of Derna. The battle resulted in a subsequent peace treaty and the successful conclusion of the combined operations of the First Barbary War.
Like the America (LHA 6), LHA 7 incorporates key components to provide the fleet with a more aviation centric platform. The design of the future Tripoli features an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity. The ship will also be the first LHA replacement ship to deliver fully ready to integrate the entire future air combat element of the Marine Corps to include the Joint Strike Fighter.
The keel laying and authentication ceremony for the amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7) was held at the Huntington Ingalls Industries Pascagoula shipyard 20 June 2014. Ship Sponsor Mrs. Lynne Mabus and retired Lt. Cmdr. Steve Senk, the chief engineer of the previous Tripoli (ex-USS Tripoli, LPH 10) served as the keel authenticators. The laying of the keel traditionally marked the first step in ship construction. With today's advanced modular shipbuilding, the keel laying ceremony now recognizes the joining together of a ship's components and is a major milestone in the ship's construction.
USS Tripoli was nearly one third complete by mid-2015, according to US military officials. "The LHA 7 is approximately 30% complete. Fabrication has started on 211 units, 97% of all units, and 84 grand blocks are erected — 47% of the total," US Navy spokesman Mathew Leonard stated as quoted by Military.com reporter Kris Osborn in July 2015.
The vessel is scheduled for launch in July 2017 and is expected to be delivered to the Navy in December 2018.
The America-class amphibious assault ships were initially designed to carry into battle a US Marine Expeditionary Unit – a quick reaction force – along with attack helicopters and V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing) aircraft.
The first America-class warship, the USS America (LHA 6), meant to act as the flagship of an expeditionary strike group, was delivered to the US Navy in spring of 2014 in order to replace the Tarawa-class USS Peleliu (LHA-5). Osborn pointed out that the first two America-class warships, constructed as aviation-centric amphibs, were engineered with a larger hangar for aircraft, bigger storage for parts and additional aviation fuel capacity.
The LHA (Landing Helicopter Assault) 7 is specifically designed to accommodate Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighters and to host other aircraft such as MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, CH-53 Super Stallions, and UH-1Y Huey helicopters, according to US expert in civil-military relations and cyber diplomacy Franz-Stefan Gady.
Citing the US Navy website’s official report, Gady elaborated that the USS Tripoli will "transport and land elements of the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) or Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) with a combination of aircraft and landing craft," adding that the ship will be able to carry 1,871 troops and a crew of 1,204.
Navy spokesman Mathew Leonard underscored that the LHA 7 was designed as a "repeat" of the LHA 6 with a number of limited changes to the ship's fight deck structure and equipment in order to accommodate the F-35B aircraft. "The Navy and Ingalls have identified lessons learned from design and construction of LHA 6 for incorporation into design and construction of LHA 7 to improve production and quality," Leonard remarked.
The USS Tripoli will be 844-feet long, 106-feet wide and weigh over 44,000 tons. Its turbine propulsion system will allow the vessel to reach speeds of more than 20 knots (23 miles per hour).
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