Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has completed builder’s trials on the US Navy’s newest America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7).

USS Tripoli is the second ship in the America-class and underwent trials during a four-day period in the Gulf of Mexico before heading back to HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division.

The trials tested the ship’s main propulsion, combat and other systems.

Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said: “We have an excellent leadership team, and they will now be focusing on getting the ship ready for acceptance trials and delivery to the navy.

“The flight deck modifications to support the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft provide an increased aviation capacity and demonstrate how an experienced team can evolve the platform to meet the current threats across the globe.”

Builder’s trials serve as the first opportunity for the navy to evaluate the ship’s operational readiness.

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The phase involved dock trials and more than 200 at-sea test events.

Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships amphibious warfare program manager Tom Rivers said: “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.”

Key features in USS Tripoli include an enlarged hangar deck, as well as realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities.

The builder has also incorporated other modifications such as an increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and boosted aviation fuel capacity.

The America-class ships will allow the navy to undertake forward presence and power projection.