Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) USS America (LHA 6) at Ingalls Shipbuilding.

The US Navy’s America-class large-deck amphibious assault ship, USS America (LHA 6), has successfully completed acceptance sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

During the trials, the multipurpose amphibious assault vessel underwent more than 220 test events and demonstrated its capabilities to the US Navy’s board of inspection and survey (INSURV).

LHA 6 programme manager George Jones said the LHA 6 team will continue to work over the next several weeks to have LHA 6 ready for US Navy’s sailors and Marines.

USS America conducted all required sea trial evolutions such as operation of the hybrid gas turbine/electric-drive propulsion system, as well as anchor handling, steering demonstration, flight deck operations, and combat systems’ evaluations.

"The 844ft-long ship has been designed to support full spectrum of missions."

The 844ft-long ship has been designed to support full spectrum of missions, including humanitarian, disaster relief, maritime security, antipiracy and other operations, while providing air support for ground forces.

Capable of accommodating a crew of 1,059 (65 officers) and 1,687 troops, 106ft-wide the amphibious assault ship uses a gas-turbine propulsion system to cruise at a speed in excess of 20k.

The America-class ships can carry a marine expeditionary unit, including marine helicopters, Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft.

Scheduled to be delivered to the US Navy in spring 2014, the USS America’s aviation-centric design includes space for an enlarged hangar deck with increased aviation parts stowage capacity, expanded aviation maintenance facilities and enhanced aviation fuel capacity.

Image: Tugboats with USS America (LHA 6) at Ingalls Shipbuilding. Photo: courtesy of US Navy, by Ingalls Shipbuilding/Released.

Defence Technology