The U.S. Navy christened its newest America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA-7), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, September 16, in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Mr. Thomas Dee, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Lynne Mabus, the wife of the 75th Secretary of the U.S. Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, served as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by Mrs. Mabus breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored Navy tradition.
«When USS Tripoli, the newest America-class amphibious assault ship, joins the fleet, we’ll be a stronger, more flexible, and better Navy and Marine Corps team», Dee said. «The ship will be a force multiplier, and her crew will proudly serve our country for decades to come. I am grateful to the men and women of Ingalls Shipbuilding for their dedication and to the citizens of Pascagoula for their unwavering support as we continue to make our Navy stronger».
USS Tripoli (LHA-7) will incorporate key components to provide the fleet with a more aviation centric platform. The design of the future USS Tripoli (LHA-7) will feature 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. The ship will also be the first LHA replacement ship to depart the shipyard fully ready to integrate the entire future air combat element of the Marine Corps to include the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
Along with its pioneering aviation element, USS Tripoli (LHA-7) will incorporate a gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and fuel efficient electric auxiliary propulsion systems first installed on USS Makin Island (LHD-8). USS Tripoli (LHA-7) will be 844 feet/257.3 m in length, have a displacement of approximately 43,745 long tons/44,449 metric tons and be capable of operating at speeds of over 20+ knots/23+ mph/37+ km/h.
USS Tripoli (LHA-7) will be the third U.S. Navy ship to be named Tripoli. The name honors and commemorates the force of U.S. Marines and approximately 370 soldiers from 11 other nationalities who captured the city of Derna, Libya during the 1805 Battle of Derna. The battle resulted in a subsequent peace treaty and the successful conclusion of the combined operations of the First Barbary War, and was later memorialized in the Marines’ Hymn with the line, «to the shores of Tripoli».
|Builder||Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, Mississippi|
|Date Deployed||Delivered to the fleet in on April 10, 2014|
|Propulsion||Two marine gas turbines, two shafts, 70,000 total brake horsepower/52,199 kW, two 5,000 horsepower/3,728 kW auxiliary propulsion motors|
|Length||844 feet/257.3 m|
|Beam||106 feet/32.3 m|
|Displacement||Approximately 43,745 long tons full load/44,449 metric tons|
|Speed||20+ knots/23+ mph/37+ km/h|
|Crew||1,059 (65 officers)|
|Load||1,687 troops (plus 184 surge)|
|Armament||2 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) launchers|
|2 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers with ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile)|
|2 20-mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) mounts|
|7 twin 12,7-mm/.50 cal. machine guns|
|Aircraft||9 F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) STOVL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft|
|4 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters|
|4 CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters|
|12 MV-22B Osprey VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) tiltrotors|
|2 MH-60S Sea Hawk Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters|
|UH-1Y Huey helicopters|
|USS America (LHA-6)||07-17-2009||06-04-2012||10-11-2014||San Diego, California|
|USS Tripoli (LHA-7)||06-22-2014||05-01-2017|
|USS Bougainville (LHA-8)|