The US Navy’s next big-deck amphibious assault ship, USS America (LHA 6), has been ‘launched’. The ship, already weighing more than 29,000 tonnes, became one of the largest objects moved across land when she was transferred to a floating dry dock and moved out on 4 June. Ingalls Shipbuilding has also received a $2.38 billion contract to build the next in the class, to be named USS Tripoli (LHA 7). The America class LHAs will be optimised for aircraft operations, with an enlarged hangar deck and enhanced aviation support facilities over the similar Wasp class, at the exclusion of a floodable stern dock. They will feature the same ‘fuel-efficient’ gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution and electric auxiliary systems designed for the USS Makin Island (LHD 8).

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