Pascagoula, Mississippi - The Navy's newest America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7), successfully completed Builder's Trials July 19. 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."
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.
HII's Pascagoula shipyard is also currently in production on Bougainville (LHA 8), the guided missile destroyers Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), and amphibious transport dock ships, Fort Lauderdale (LPD 28) and Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).
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, boats and craft.