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Thread: USS America LHA-6

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    USS America LHA-6

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The Navy's newest class of large-deck amphibious assault ship, LHA 6, will bear the name USS America, Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter announced June 27, while speaking at the USS America Carrier Veterans Association reunion in Jacksonville, Fla.

    This ship will inherit a proud tradition, explained Winter. From the American Revolution through the first Gulf War, three warships have sailed with the name America.

    "To serve in a ship named after our country adds to the pride one feels in being part of the Navy and adds to the feeling that when America pulls into port, there is no more powerful symbol of the power, the ideals, and the greatness of the United States of America," said Winter.

    LHA 6 will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name America. The first America, a 74-gun ship-of-the-line, was first built for use by the Continental Navy. However, before having a chance to serve the fledgling U.S. Navy, the ship was presented as a gift to the king of France to show appreciation for his country's service to the new nation.

    The second USS America (ID-3006) was used to transport troops during World War I. The third ship to bear the name was a Kitty-Hawk class aircraft carrier (CV 66) in commission 1965-1996. Among other notable accomplishments, the carrier America made three deployments to Vietnam and launched air strikes on Iraq during the opening days of Operation Desert Storm.

    The newest America will provide presence and power projection as an integral part of joint and multinational maritime expeditionary forces. The ship will support Marine Corps aviation requirements across a wide spectrum of operations, from small-scale contingency operations as the centerpiece of a forward-deployed expeditionary strike group, to forcible entry missions in a major theater war.

    LHA 6 replaces the aging Tarawa-class and represents a conscious decision to increase the aviation capacity of future big deck amphibious ships in order to maximize the Navy's investment in future aircraft.

    LHA 6 will have an extended hangar deck with two higher hangar bay areas, each fitted with an overhead crane for aircraft maintenance. LHA 6 will also provide increased aviation fuel capacity, stowage for aviation parts and support equipment. LHA 6 will be able to embark and launch the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, cargo and attack helicopters, the AV-8B Harrier and the short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant F-35B Lightning II Strike Fighter.

    Winter explained the importance of the new America-class amphibious assault ship and the tremendous capability she will bring to the fleet.

    "USS America is a wise investment in our nation's security," Winter said, "It will be a ship worthy of her illustrious namesake, and it will continue America's long tradition of peace through strength."

    Winter also announced that the sponsor of the ship will be Lynne Pace, wife of former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace.

    America is currently under contract at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., and is expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2012. Navy Names New Amphibious Assault Ship
    Pretty much deep-sixes the chance of a USS United States.

    At least CV-66's name went to an aviation ship, unlike Independence.

    I'd say that the rest of the America-class will probably have names like Lexington, Saratoga, Ranger, etc.

    At least, one would hope.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Sounds like a scuttlebutt sea story to me.

    The LHA's are (or already have been) replaced with the LHD's. USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3) has already been sunk as an artificial reef. I personally worked on LHA's 1, 3 and 5 (all home ported in Long Beach) and found Belleau Wood to be the best of them all.

    All the screw ups in Tarawa (LHA-1) were corrected by the time they got to the Belleau Wood. The USS Peliliu (LHA-5) was made up of spare parts left over from the first four since the Navy decided not to go for an LHA-6. On innerbottom inspection I even found where Ingalls forgot to finish the welding of the shell plating. Weep holes through beams to cross over weld seams of plating were cut square instead of round, thus concentrating stresses into the corners and causing cracks through the beam web. Several feet of bulkhead plating to the medical spaces were not welded at all on either side.

    Straight Polarity (or short arc) welding was used throughout and they never had 100% efficiency in the most critcal welds such as main ship framing to the shell plating.

    Even the newer LHD's I didn't like, espcially their cargo weapons elevator designs. To fix one of them, the shipfitter was at a loss of how to give the clearances needed for the apron plate. I told the welder to put a number 5 tip on his torch, heat the area to Marachino Cherry red and I litterally took a sledge hammer and pounded the areas of interference into the right shape.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Sounds like a scuttlebutt sea story to me.
    That's straight from navy.mil.

    They're going to a dock-less approach, emphasizing aviation over seaborne assets, hence the return to an "A" rather than a "D" in the class designator.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    mmm...no well deck hey, that seems foolish to me, a throwback to the Iwo Jima class of assault ships. What do others think?

    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    They're going to a dock-less approach, emphasizing aviation over seaborne assets, hence the return to an "A" rather than a "D" in the class designator.
    Shouldn' they be LPH's then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JA Boomer View Post
    mmm...no well deck hey, that seems foolish to me, a throwback to the Iwo Jima class of assault ships. What do others think?
    Well, on the face of it, it appears to be a rather foolish limitation.

    Until you remember that there are many other modern ships in the fleet with well decks

    8 Wasp-class
    8 Whidbey Island-class
    4 Harpers Ferry-class
    3+6+3 San Antonio-class

    Plus 6 Austin/Cleveland/Ponce-class and 3 Tarawa-class currently in service, but probably slated for retirement in the near future.

    In addition, aviation assault is far faster method of delivering troops (though admittedly not heavy equipment) and can be undertaken much further away from a hostile coastline.

    So, having a class of amphibious assault ships solely devoted to aviation assault is probably a good thing, though that's solely in my totally civilian opinion.

    Shouldn' they be LPH's then?
    If they were to operate only helicopters, I'd say yes. But since they're not, then no
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    They will be LHA-R

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    Naming LHA-6 USS America sadly clears the way for more CVNs to be called after politicians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    Naming LHA-6 USS America sadly clears the way for more CVNs to be called after politicians.
    Look at the good side Shipwreck, Atleast the USN's capital ships remain the same name (the majority thereof with a few exceptions) through out their lifespan. Unlike Russia's that used to change like the tide itself.
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    City's Towns and Royalty + some randoms. RN
    Naval Warfare Discussion is dying on WAB

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    If they named a ship the "United States", how would the Captain be gonged aboard or for boat hails? One uses the name of the ship ............ but "United States" is the announcement of the President?

    A point I've always wondered about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowLeopard View Post
    If they named a ship the "United States", how would the Captain be gonged aboard or for boat hails? One uses the name of the ship ............ but "United States" is the announcement of the President?

    A point I've always wondered about.
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    ("Perhaps you will call me Helen, Doctor. With so many titles around here, we won't know who is being addressed."--Dr. Helen Noel, (w,stte), ST:TOS "Dagger of the Mind")
    VERY good question.. maybe you would have to ring the CO aboard as "USS United States arriving/departing"

    (I've rang the CO's of the Essex and Momsen aboard and ashore hundreds of times, as both POOW "petty officer of the watch" and OOD "Officer of the Deck")

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteaminDemon View Post
    They will be LHA-R
    I believe the "R" stands for "Replacement", as in replacing the current crop of LHA's
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post

    If they were to operate only helicopters, I'd say yes. But since they're not, then no
    swap out the V-22's and other non-jet craft for F-35's and you have another carrier in service. An extra 20 or so F-35's could be a nasty surprise in war.

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    If the Navy ever gets the funding to buy more F-35s, that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
    If the Navy ever gets the funding to buy more F-35s, that is.
    USMC version is what I was thinking.

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