The amphibious assault ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) America (LHA 6)

The US Navy has taken delivery of the America-class large-deck amphibious assault ship, USS America (LHA 6), from the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) at a ship-custody transfer ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi, US.

USS America, the lead ship of the class, is the first of the navy’s next-generation amphibious assault ships designed to replace the aging Tarawa-class vessels.

Scheduled to be commissioned later this year in San Francisco, the 844ft-long and 106ft-wide ship successfully completed sea trials in February.

The commissioning crew will commence shipboard training in preparation for the its sail-away.

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"She is lethal, and she is survivable, able to withstand some of the toughest blows our future enemies may have to offer."

The America-class ships, which provide new capabilities in both amphibious assault and aviation support, can cruise at speeds in excess of 20k using a gas-turbine propulsion system, and can accommodate a crew of 1,059 (65 officers) and 1,687 troops.

They can also carry a marine expeditionary unit and marine helicopters.

Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said: "She brings to the fleet awesome amphibious and humanitarian capabilities. She is lethal, and she is survivable, able to withstand some of the toughest blows our future enemies may have to offer."

LHA 6, the flagship of an expeditionary strike group, will be deployed to support a range of missions, including humanitarian, disaster relief, maritime security, antipiracy and air support for ground forces.

Image: The US Navy’s America-class ship, USS America (LHA 6) at sea. Photo: courtesy of US Navy mass communication specialist 1st Class Lewis Hunsaker/Released.

Defence Technology