Huntington Ingalls Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi, is awarded an $187,469,732 not-to-exceed undefinitized contract action for long lead time material and associated engineering and design activities in support of one Amphibious Assault Ship Replacement (LHA(R)) Flight 1 Ship and LHA 9. Work to be performed is the procurement of long lead time material for LHA 9, the fourth LHA (R) America Class and the second LHA(R) Flight 1 ship. Work is expected to be complete by February 2024. Fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion, (Navy) funding in the amount of $187,469,732 will be obligated at award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Like their LHD predecessors, LHAs are 844 feet long with a 106-foot beam displacing more than 44,000 tons. These capital ships take more than five years to build. USS America (LHA 6) is the first ship in its class built without a well deck but with a larger hangar and aviation storage, focusing on purely aviation-related capacity. The ships have a crew of 1,204 and can transport up to 1,800 troops and their equipment. America (LHA 6) is nearly three football fields in length and is 20 stories high from its keel to the top of her deckhouse. The flight deck dimension is more than two acres for launching, landing and stowing aircraft.
With a typical air combat element embarked, an LHA Amphibious Assault Ship can be equipped with:
5 F-35B Joint Strike Fighters
4 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters
2 UH-1Y Venom attack helicopters
4 CH-53E Super Sea Stallion helicopters
12 MV-22 Osprey
2 MH-60S Search and Rescue helicopters
Defensive weapons systems include .50 caliber machine guns, The Phalanx, Sea Sparrow and Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) anti-ship cruise missile weapon systems and decoy launchers.
The LHA class is capable of reaching more than 20 knots at sea. The largest of all amphibious warfare ships. America-class ships will facilitate forward presence and power projection as an integral part of joint, interagency, and multinational maritime expeditionary forces, supporting the Marine Corps tenets of Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS) and Ship to Objective Maneuver (STOM). America also marks the first of the Navy’s newest class of amphibious assault ships replacing the Tarawa (LHA1) class. It is considered to be the next generation “big-deck” amphibious ship. At sea, the new ship will be more capable to support current and future aircraft, including the MV-22B Osprey, F-35B Lightning II and the CH-53K Super Stallion.