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USS America (LHA-6)
USS America (LHA 6) June 2012
USS America (LHA-6), after her launch
Career Flag of the United States.svg
Name: America
Namesake: America
Awarded: 1 June 2007[1]
Builder: Huntington Ingalls Industries
Laid down: 17 July 2009 [2]
Launched: 4 June 2012 [3]
Sponsored by: Lynne Pace[2]
Christened: 20 October 2012 [4]
Acquired: 2013 (planned)[4]
Commissioned: 2014 (planned)[5]
Motto: "Bello vel pace paratus"
("Ready for War or Peace")
Status: Under construction
Notes: Program cost, $6.8 billion[6]
Unit cost, $3.4 billion (FY 2011)[6]
Badge: USS America LHA-6 Crest
General characteristics
Class & type: America-class amphibious assault ship[2]
Displacement: Approx. 45,000 long tons (45,700 metric tons) full load
Length: 844 feet (257.3 meters)
Beam: 106 feet (32.3 meters)
Propulsion: Two marine gas turbines, two shafts, 70,000 total brake horsepower, two 5,000 horsepower auxiliary propulsion motors.
Speed: 20+ knots (37+ km/h)
Complement: 65 officers, 994 enlisted
1,687 Marines (plus 184 surge)
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPQ-9B fire control
AN/SPS-48E airsearch radar[7]
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
2×Mk53 NULKA decoy launchers[7]
Armament:Rolling Airframe Missile launchers
Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile launchers
20 mm Phalanx CIWS mounts
7× twin .50 BMG machine guns
Aircraft carried: MV-22B Osprey
F-35B Lightning II
CH-53K Super Stallion
UH-1Y Venom
AH-1Z Viper
MH-60S Seahawk

PCU America (LHA-6), the fourth American warship to be named for the United States of America,[8] will be the first of the America-class amphibious assault ships for the U.S. Navy. She will be delivered in 2013, replacing USS Peleliu (LHA-5) of the Tarawa class. Her mission is to act as the flagship of an expeditionary strike group or amphibious ready group, carrying part of a Marine expeditionary unit into battle and putting them ashore with helicopters and V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, supported by F-35B Lightning II aircraft and helicopter gunships.

Her design is based on USS Makin Island (LHD-8) but with no well deck and smaller medical spaces to allow more room for aviation facilities. With a displacement of 45,000 tons she is as big as the aircraft carriers of other nations, and can fulfill similar missions when configured with 20 F-35B strike fighters.


The design is based on the USS Makin Island (LHD-8), itself an improved version of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. Approximately 45% of the Flight 0 design is based on LHD-8, with the well deck removed to allow more room for aircraft and aviation fuel.[9] Removal of the well dock for landing craft provides for an extended hangar deck with two significantly wider high bay areas, each fitted with an overhead crane for aircraft maintenance.

These changes were required in order to operate the F-35B and MV-22 which are considerably larger than the aircraft they replace.[10] The typical aircraft complement is expected to be 12 MV-22B Osprey transports, 6 STOVL F-35B Lightning II attack aircraft, 4 CH-53K heavy transport helicopters, 7 AH-1Z/UH-1Y attack helicopters and 2 Navy MH-60S "Knighthawks" for air-sea rescue.[7] The exact makeup of the ship's aircraft complement will vary according to its mission. It can carry 20 F-35B and 2 MH-60S[7] to serve as a small aircraft carrier as demonstrated by LHD operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.[2]

Other enhancements include a reconfigurable command and control complex, an on-board hospital, additional aviation fuel capacity, and numerous aviation support spaces.[8]


The U.S. Navy awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation's Ingalls Shipyard Division a $2.4 billion fixed-price incentive contract for the detailed design and construction of LHA-6, primarily at the company's shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.[8] The production decision was made in January 2006[9] and construction of LHA-6 began in December 2008.[9] Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter announced in June 2008 that the ship would be named America.[11] The keel-laying ceremony was held on 17 July 2009[2] with delivery originally planned for August 2012.[9] The ship was launched on 4 June 2012,[3] and christened on 20 October.[4] As of 2014, America is scheduled for delivery in 2013, with Naval Base San Diego as her home port.[4] Builder's trials are planned for November 2013.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. "America". Naval Vessel Register. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Keel Laid for Latest Addition to Multimission-Capable Amphibious Fleet". United States Navy. 18 July 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Future USS America (LHA 6) Launched". Naval Sea Systems Command. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Radzius, Darius A. (20 October 2012). "U.S. Navy Christens Future USS America (LHA 6)". Navy Office of Information. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  5. "General Characteristics, LHA(R) Class LHA (6)." United States Navy
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Analysis: Fiscal year 2012 Pentagon spending request". Cost of war. 2011. .
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "LHA 6 (formerly LHA(R)) New Amphibious Assault Ship" (pdf). DOT&E. 2008. p. 149. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Navy Names New Amphibious Assault Ship". United States Navy. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 "GAO-09-326SP 'Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs'". U.S. Government Accountability Office. 30 March 2009. 
  10. Jean, Grace V. Marines Question the Utility of Their New Amphibious Warship National Defense Industrial Association, September 2008
  11. Ewing, Philip (30 June 2008). "New amphib to be named America". Navy Times. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  12. Cavas, Christopher (3 October 2013). "New Ship News – Sub launched, Carrier prepped, LCS delivered". Defense News. 

External linksEdit

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