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  • USS America (LHA-6) News

    America (LHA 6) is launched - YouTube
    Ingalls Shipbuilding launches LHA 6 assault ship | gulflive.com
    PASCAGOULA, Mississippi -- Huntington Ingalls Industries announced today that its Ingalls yard launched the U.S. Navy's next amphibious assault ship, America, from a floating drydock on Monday.
    "Launching a large-deck ship is a significant milestone requiring several highly skilled shipyard crafts and a complex logistics plan," said Brian Cuccias, Ingalls' vice president of large deck amphibious ships.
    "As the Navy's longtime sole provider of these important ships, we are unique in our ability to draw on the specialized experience our shipbuilders have in the safe and efficient translation and launch of a warship of this size," he said in a news release.
    LHA 6, weighing more than 29,000 tons in its current state, became one of the largest objects moved across land when it was transferred to the drydock two weeks ago. Following additional planning and preparation, the launch process occurred utilizing the drydock's ballast system on Monday afternoon, and the ship floated free.
    "This is an exceptional milestone for the LHA program that was conducted flawlessly," LHA 6 Program Manager George Jones said. "I am proud of the team who made this happen and who continue to do quality work in this program."
    Ingalls received a $2.38 billion contract to build the next ship in the class, Tripoli (LHA 7), last week. LHA 6 and LHA 7 are the first two ships in the new America class of amphibious assault ships.
    They are 844 feet long and 106 feet wide and will displace 44,971 long tons. They will accommodate 1,059 crew (65 officers) and 1,687 troops.
    They will be capable of carrying a Marine Expeditionary Unit, including Marine helicopters, MV‐22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and F‐35B Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. Carrying a complement of F‐35s allows the ships to serve the role of a small aircraft carrier, as demonstrated by LHD‐class ship operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    The America class has an increased aviation capacity to include an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment and increased aviation fuel capacity.
    Similar to its predecessors, the ship will be able to operate as the flagship for an Expeditionary Strike Group. Ingalls has built five Tarawa (LHA 1) class ships as well as eight Wasp (LHD 1) class ships.

  • #2
    It is good to see the new LHA finally afloat. I hope they prove themselves as useful as the first LHA's did, and it looks like they did a fine job building the new America (although I wish the Navy were assigning that name to a CVN instead of a LHA).

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by drivinfool View Post
      (although I wish the Navy were assigning that name to a CVN instead of a LHA).
      It's not up to the Navy. It's in the hands of the civilian political-appointee, Secretary of the Navy.
      Which is why we have warships named after such noted figures as the Cesar Chavez, John P. Murtha and Gabrielle Giffords.
      “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
      ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
        It's not up to the Navy. It's in the hands of the civilian political-appointee, Secretary of the Navy.
        Which is why we have warships named after such noted figures as the Cesar Chavez, John P. Murtha and Gabrielle Giffords.
        I won't be surprised when the Navy has a ship named after that homosexual Harvey Milk..

        Comment


        • #5
          Why has nobody posted that fine track yet? Fine.


          Your all slack!
          Ego Numquam

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dundonrl View Post
            I won't be surprised when the Navy has a ship named after that homosexual Harvey Milk..
            USS Milk
            No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

            To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Chunder View Post
              Why has nobody posted that fine track yet? Fine.


              Your all slack!
              It should be the call to battle stations, aboard this new LHA!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dundonrl View Post
                I won't be surprised when the Navy has a ship named after that homosexual Harvey Milk..
                Ask and you may recieve.

                USS Harvey Milk would be a fitting tribute

                USS Harvey Milk would be a fitting tribute
                C.W. Nevius, Chronicle Columnist
                Thursday, May 17, 2012

                Petty local politics shouldn't ruin a truly meaningful national gesture, which is naming a U.S. Navy ship after gay icon Harvey Milk.

                A ship named for the first openly gay supervisor in San Francisco seems like such a bold and audacious gesture that you wonder whether the Navy would consider such a thing. Actually, it might. Last week, the service commissioned the Cesar Chavez, a ship named for the Mexican American labor leader. Chavez served two years in the Navy during World War II.

                So the Harvey Milk makes sense. Although it would be controversial in conservative political circles - some Republicans howled at the Chavez christening - it would stress that gay and lesbian men and women serve the country, too.

                Zoe Dunning, a lesbian and retired Navy commander, spoke in favor of the naming at a supervisors hearing earlier this week. She wholeheartedly supports the idea, and in an interview noted that Milk not only served in the Navy during the Korean War, but also was a diving instructor, a physically demanding job.

                "How very butch of him," she said, unable to resist poking fun at the stereotype of a gay sailor.

                So far, so good. Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the formal request to the Secretary of the Navy, and supporters lined up.

                Then some people lost their compass.

                Supervisor Christina Olague, who voted against the idea in committee this week, thinks Milk's objection to the war in Vietnam makes a Navy ship a poor choice.

                "It's a warship," she said. "I'm not convinced that reflects Harvey Milk values."

                Even more vehement is gay activist Tommi Avicolli Mecca.

                "Why not name a bomber after Gandhi?" he asks. "The purpose of the military is to kill people, no matter how we look at it. I know Harvey opposed the Vietnam War, and if he were alive, he would be against the wars we are in now. I think it is inappropriate."

                Basically, everyone is trying to speak for Milk, who was assassinated by a former colleague in 1978. So it might be a good idea to check in with someone who actually talked about military service with him.

                That would be Bob Dockendorff, a gay man who is a retired captain in the Navy Reserve. Dockendorff served three years in Vietnam and 25 years in the service. He says he and Milk often talked about their Navy days.

                "Harvey would have absolutely loved the idea that a naval ship was named after him," Dockendorff said. "He loved the Navy. He thought the Vietnam War was a mistake, but we all did. He wasn't antimilitary at all."

                On one hand I get the objections. A warship named for a gay advocate may sound contradictory. But as Dunning says, the Navy isn't even building battleships these days. The Chavez is a supply ship. Surely the opponents wouldn't object to that.

                Instead they want a national holiday or a statue. That would be fine but it wouldn't have the impact of a Navy ship.

                Dunning says she discussed this with her wife, who was also in the Navy.

                "She was aboard the Samuel Gompers," Dunning said. "And she had no idea who that was. So she looked into it and found out he was the founder of the labor movement in the United States."

                The same would be true of the ship named the Harvey Milk. The name would be on the bow, the crew would wear it on their uniform, and wherever it went people would ask: Who was Harvey Milk?

                And the men and the women of the U.S. Navy would tell them.
                And they could play this song when they launch it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The same would be true of the ship named the Harvey Milk. The name would be on the bow, the crew would wear it on their uniform, and wherever it went people would ask: Who was Harvey Milk?

                  And the men and the women of the U.S. Navy would tell them.
                  Did they really think that through? Hell no, they didn't. These are the same people who would name their son "Sunshine" and wonder why all his classmates are making fun of him in high school because they have no clue.

                  I may be from California and I have no issues with gays wanting to live a normal life period. No in your face type of stunts which irritate me. However, most of the crew will not be from Harvey's district. So when asked who Harvey Milk was, after getting over the wise cracks about the USS Milk (bucket, carton, low fat), they will most likely say he was some sort of homo, f*g or queer. They will not be saying he was a equal rights gay activist who was assassinated while a San Francisco supervisor. So much for enlightening people, eh Mr. Dunning...? Oh, and the name is on the STERN!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Two things to note: 1) the substantial list of the ship as launched (I understand that the ship will be balanced through additional material, fuel and ballast). 2) since there is no ramp, why are there no additional deck areas astern to test the F-35's engines?

                    Comment


                    • #11


                      Navy's Newest, LHA-6, A Dead End For Amphibious Ships?

                      By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
                      AOL Defense
                      October 3, 2012

                      The Navy will christen its newest amphibious warfare ship in Pascagoula, Miss. on Oct. 20th. The boldly-named, $3 billion America is a major departure from past designs -- and, quietly, the Navy has decided not to build many more like it in the future.

                      The Chief of Naval Operations himself, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, has said that getting more amphibs in the fleet is his "biggest shipbuilding concern." But the Navy is only building two vessels to the LHA-6 blueprint, America itself and LHA-7 Tripoli, for which shipbuilder Huntington-Ingalls recently received a fixed-price contract. Subsequent LHAs will revert to a more traditional design.

                      At issue is LHA-6's and -7's lack of what's called a "well deck." Most amphibs have a large compartment they can flood partway with water, with a door in the stern of the ship that can be lowered to let smaller vessels in and out. That makes for easy loading and unloading of the amphibious armored vehicles, hovercraft, and other landing craft that carry Marines and their heavy gear ashore. Otherwise such small craft have to tie up alongside the big ships while equipment is lowered by cranes and troops climb down rope ladders, a slow, laborious, and dangerous process, as the military learned in World War II. Since then, well decks have become a defining feature of the amphibious fleet -- but they take up a lot of room.

                      Meanwhile, aircraft have become ever more important to Marine Corps operations. Older ships were designed to carry conventional helicopters like the CH-46 and the Marine Corps's Harrier "jump jet," but their successors -- the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor and the F-35B version of the Joint Strike Fighter -- are much larger machines that take up much more space. So when the Navy looked at replacing its aging LHA-1 Tarawa class ships, it decided to sacrifice the well deck to better accommodate aircraft.

                      The result is what any other navy would simply call an aircraft carrier. At 844 feet long and 45,000 tons displacement, LHA-6 America is only slightly smaller than the Russian-made Varyag now in Chinese service and significantly larger than the French carrier Charles de Gaulle (neither of which has a well deck, either). Only the US Navy, with its 1,000-foot-long, 100,000-ton Nimitz class, would consider the America a small carrier.

                      Ships of LHA-6's size have proven useful in all sorts of operations, notably last year's intervention in Libya, when the amphibious ship USS Kearsage led US air operations in the absence of a Nimitz-class ship. Kearsage, designated LHD-3, is a traditional amphib design with a large well deck, which was idle in the air-only operations against Gaddhafi. In the same scenario, LHA-6 could provide more airpower in an equivalently sized package.

                      The problem is, of course, that not all or even most future operations will be like Libya in 2011. The whole point of having a Marine Corps is so they can go ashore. Modern Marine tactics de-emphasize storming the beach in landing craft a la Tarawa in World War II and instead focus on bypassing enemy defenses by flying forces deep inland. (That mission drove the V-22's unique design). But landing craft are still essential, less for the first wave ashore than to sustain the operation with bulk supplies and heavy equipment -- trucks, artillery, tanks -- that aircraft can carry only in small amounts or not at all. And if landing craft are essential, then so is the well deck.

                      So this February, after months of study, the Marine Corps Commandant and the Chief of Naval Operations signed an official memorandum of agreement that restores the well deck to LHA-8 and subsequent ships. A modification of the LHA-6 America design, LHA-8 will have a slightly smaller hanger than the America and a slightly smaller well deck than past amphibs like the Kearsage. (A redesign of the "island" structure will free up more room on LHA-8's flight deck to do maintenance on V-22s, compensating for some of the hanger space lost inside the ship).

                      Four years ago this September, before the keel was even laid for LHA-6, a former Marine named Bob Work -- now undersecretary of the Navy -- said there were big questions about the design. "Will it become the standard, or will it become only a niche capability?" Work said to National Defense magazine. The answer is now clearly, "niche." LHA-6 might count as a carrier in any other navy, but in the US fleet, it is a highly specialized and not entirely happy compromise between the massive airpower of the Nimitz class and the flexibility of the traditional Marine amphibious ship.


                      Navy CNO Greenert's 'Biggest Shipbuilding Concern' Is Amphibs

                      By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
                      AOL Defense
                      September 27, 2012

                      WASHINGTON: The Navy is "on a roll" when it comes to shipbuilding, but the existing fleet remains under stress, the Chief of Naval Operations said today.

                      "We are on a roll on shipbuilding, [with] ships delivered on or ahead of schedule, on or below budget," Adm. Jonathan Greenert said at a luncheon hosted by the Association of the US Navy today. "How'd that happen? How about a little bit of predictability" -- a reference to his rejection of how the Navy had whiplashed contractors in the past with change orders in mid-construction, most notoriously on the first two Littoral Combat Ships -- "and sitting down with industry, working out a multi-year [contract with] a little bit of profit margin.... We have about 30 ships under construction right now."

                      Nevertheless, both ships and sailors are still stressed meeting global demands.

                      "It's driven optempo up, higher than we'd like," Greenert said. ("Optempo" is military jargon for "operational tempo"). "As far as overall manning we're fine," he went on. "As far as manning the right place the right time we've got some work to do."

                      With tensions rising both with Iran and between China and US allies in Japan and the Philippines, the Navy now has a pair of aircraft carriers in Western Pacific and another in the Middle East. So out of just 11 flat-tops in the fleet (soon to be 10 when the Enterprise retires), those four are deployed, another two are in overhaul, and just five (soon four) are going through pre-deployment training and maintenance -- a ratio of ships deployed to the total fleet of roughly 1:2, compared to the 1:4 that's the Navy rule of thumb for a sustainable pace of operations in the long haul.

                      Deployments for Navy-Marine Amphibious Ready Groups have likewise been stretched far beyond normal lengths, with the USS Bataan ARG at sea for almost 11 months. "If you asked me, 'What's your biggest shipbuilding concern,' it's 'get the amphibs out,'" Greenert told reporters after his public remarks. "They're stressed. The good news is we've got Anchorage and Arlington right around the corner, two LPDs" -- San Antonio-class amphibious ships -- and their commissioning will make a major difference, he said.

                      The fleet now stands at 287 ships with the recent commissioning of the USS Fort Worth, the third Littoral Combat Ship (and the second built by Lockheed Martin). Among other missions, the LCS is meant to take on mine-hunting, a long-neglected niche in the Navy, but with only three LCS in service and the mine-warfare "module" still in development, that burden falls on 14 aging Avenger-class minesweepers.

                      Eight of the 14 Avengers are now in Bahrain, on guard against an Iranian attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz. That leaves just two Avengers back in the United States for training, not enough to get new crews ready to replace those now deployed. (The other four are permanently based in Sasebo, Japan). How long can the minesweeper force keep so many ships deployed? "How long I don't know," Greenert told reporters. "We're looking closely at it in October to see if we'd need to sustain two in the Gulf" -- that is, two of the four sent from the US to Bahrain this summer. The Navy would need a new crew rotation and training model to maintain a standing minesweeper force of six Avengers in the Gulf, Greenert and other officials have said.

                      For now, though, Greenert is glowing about the success of the minesweeper force in recent international exercises. "It was just over a year ago Gen. [James] Mattis [commander of US Central Command] said we need to sharpen our skills in mine countermeasures" and proposed the exercises now wrapping up, Greenert said. "We had 34 countries" participating, Greenert said, from as far afield as Latin America and Estonia.

                      With so much already on his plate, Greenert was naturally eager to downplay tensions. Asked about tensions with China, he noted that "we've invited the Chinese to come to RIMPAC," the massive annual "Rim of the Pacific" exercise, for what would be the first PLA participation ever. And when an audience member raised the prospect of a Russian naval resurgence, Greenert went out of his way to emphasize the positive: "They're certainly rebuilding and modernizing, but I'll tell you they were at RIMPAC and they were good participants....There's a lot of good partnership with the Russians."
                      Last edited by JRT; 08 Oct 12,, 20:05.
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                      • #12
                        Personally, I think the well deck deletion issue is just a bunch of hoopla, as an LHA will most likely be in the company of an LPD and an LSD, that are both equipped with well decks, so why not let a flat top be a flat top, so that it may operate aircraft, especially the F-35B effectively (with proper hangers, magazine capacity, and aviation fuel stores)? and let the LPD's/LSD's land the heavy equipment.

                        If the F-35B was cancelled, by all means revert back to the salt water swimming pool / boat ramp.

                        Plus, they make it easy to get the Admiral's jet ski into the water.
                        http://www.navy.mil/management/photo...-9851B-005.jpg
                        Last edited by surfgun; 08 Oct 12,, 22:44.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          At 844 feet she is just 28 feet shorter than an Essex Class in WWII and at 45,000 tons weighs the same as Midway when launched. A CVL was 600 feet in length and they were called aircraft carriers so I would say America is an aircraft carrier. Or, given that the original Slurpee has been super size should we now say the original aircraft carrier has also been super sized?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It has been floated as well, when the well deck is reinstituted that the next LHD/LHA ships will be over 900' in length to maintain the aviation capabilities.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                              Personally, I think the well deck deletion issue is just a bunch of hoopla, as an LHA will most likely be in the company of an LPD and an LSD, that are both equipped with well decks, so why not let a flat top be a flat top, so that it may operate aircraft, especially the F-35B effectively (with proper hangers, magazine capacity, and aviation fuel stores)? and let the LPD's/LSD's land the heavy equipment.
                              So where dos all the combat equipment currently held and deployed from the LHA/LHD go? Where do the LCACs go? The LPD and LSDs are packed.

                              The purpose of the LHA is not to be a mini aircraft carrier. It can, and has been used as such AFTER the GCE forces are ashore.

                              In addition, LHAs are often detached for split ARG operations because of their versatility. The ability to project both airborne and seaborne forces.

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