The USS Tripoli will not feature a well deck, allowing more space for aircraft and aviation facilities. (Huntington Ingalls Industries)
Huntington Ingalls’ shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., got a major new construction job May 31 with the contract award to build the USS Tripoli (LHA 7), a big-deck assault ship for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The ship, a sister to the America (LHA 6) now under construction at Ingalls, will be an aviation-centric assault ship, doing away with the floodable well deck found in other LHA and LHD assault ships to provide more room for aircraft.
The $2.38 billion fixed-price incentive detail and design contract comes after several advance contracts totaling $312 million, adding up to $2.7 billion for shipyard work.
The America and Tripoli will each displace 45,000 long tons on a length of 844 feet and beam of 106 feet. In addition to a crew of 1,059, berthing will be provided for 1,687 Marines, and the ships will be powered by a gas turbine propulsion plant similar to that installed in the Makin Island (LHD 8). The new ships will operate F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, MV-22 Osprey tilt rotors and the full range of Marine Corps helicopters.
Delivery of the Tripoli is scheduled for June 2018. Construction of the America is continuing at Ingalls, with the ship’s launch scheduled for early June.
After the Tripoli, the Navy will return to building assault ships fitted with well decks to operate small craft and amphibious vehicles.