PASCAGOULA, Miss. – The U.S. Navy today awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) a $2.38 billion fixed-price-incentive contract for the design and construction of the multipurpose amphibious assault ship Tripoli (LHA 7).
LHA 7 and LHA 6 are the first two ships in the new America class of amphibious assault ships. At 844 feet long, 106 feet wide, and a displacement of 44,971 long tons, the Tripoli will be about 100 feet shorter than a Midway-class aircraft carrier, yet with roughly the same displacement. A pair of General Electric LM2500 gas turbine engines will provide roughly 70,000 total shaft horsepower enabling the ship to achieve speeds in excess of 20 knots.
Ingalls Shipbuilding President Irwin F. Edenzon comments,
“Large-deck amphibious ship construction is an important component of our business plan, and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the Navy on this contract. We are also pleased to continue providing such an important asset to the sailors and Marines who are being called on to perform an ever-increasing list of tough missions. Ingalls shipbuilders understand the importance of building these ships safely and efficiently while all the while focusing on delivering a quality product.”
Tripoli will accommodate 1,059 crew (65 officers), 1,687 Marines, and will be capable of carrying a Marine Expeditionary Unit, including Marine helicopters, MV‐22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and F‐35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft. Carrying a complement of F‐35s allows her to serve the role of a small aircraft carrier, as demonstrated by LHD‐class ship operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“We have an excellent build plan in place for LHA 7, and we will continue to develop fresh ideas through the knowledge and experience our shipbuilders have in large-deck construction,” said Brian Cuccias, Ingalls’ Vice President, Large Deck Amphibious Ships. “The multi-mission capability of these ships has been proven in the fleet, and LHA 7 will further the technological advancements set forth by previous ships.”
Like the future USS America (LHA 6), scheduled to be delivered in June 2013, LHA 7 has an increased aviation capacity to include 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.
Similar to its predecessors, the ship will be able to operate as the flagship for an Expeditionary Strike Group. Ingalls has built five Tarawa (LHA 1) class ships as well as eight Wasp (LHD 1) class ships.
Tripoli will be the third ship to bear the name which commemorates the capture of Derna in 1805 by a small force of U.S. Marines and approximately 370 soldiers from 11 other nations. The battle, memorialized in the Marines’ Hymn with the line “to the shores of Tripoli” brought about a successful conclusion to the combined operations of the First Barbary War.