The US Navy has commissioned its America-class amphibious assault ship, USS Tripoli (LHA 7), into the fleet.

The commemoration of the vessel’s traditional public commissioning was cancelled as per the public health and safety restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

US Navy secretary Kenneth J Braithwaite said: “USS Tripoli is proof of what the teamwork of all of our people, civilian, contractor and military, can accomplish together.

“This ship will extend the manoeuvrability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world, from maintaining the sea lanes to countering instability to maintaining our edge in this era of renewed great power competition.”

USS Tripoli will soon be integrated into the future air combat element of the Marine Corps, including the Joint Strike Fighter.

LHA 7 has an enlarged hangar deck and expanded aviation maintenance facilities that provide the fleet with an aviation-centric platform.

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USS Tripoli’s design also features increased stowage space for parts and support equipment, as well as an expanded aviation fuel capacity.

The 844ft-long vessel is equipped with a gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and a fuel-efficient electric auxiliary propulsion systems.

It has a displacement of approximately 44,000t, with the ability to operate at speeds of over 20k.

In March this year, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered USS Tripoli to the US Navy.

USS Tripoli commanding officer captain Kevin Myers said: “Being the third ship to bear the Tripoli namesake is a profound honour and this crew stands ready to carry on the legacy of our longstanding navy and Marine Corps amphibious community.

“What’s remarkable is seeing the dedication, perseverance and resilience these new plank owners have shown since day one, and more recently, through uncertain times as the navy and nation work through a pandemic.”