LHA 6 America Class

Product Type:

Amphibious Assault Ship

Using Service (US):

Navy

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractor:

Huntington Ingalls Industries

The LHA 6 America Class Assault Ship

About the LHA America Class:





The America Class Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA) ship is a gas-turbine powered amphibious assault ship, which resembles a small aircraft carrier (manufactured by Huntington Ingalls Industries). It is designed to replace existing LHA 1 Tarawa Class assault ships, which are reaching the end of their extended service lives. The new America Class will improve the aviation capability of current U.S. Navy Tarawa Class LHAs that reach the end of their extended service life by 2015. Four of the original five Tarawa Class LHAs have already been decommissioned (USS Belleau Wood LHA 3 in October 2005, USS Saipan LHA 2 in April 2007, USS Tarawa LHA 1 in March 2009, and USS Nassau LHA 4 in March 2011).

LHA America Class ships are powered by two marine gas turbine engines, providing 70,000 total brake horsepower, as well as two 5,000 horsepower auxiliary propulsion motors.

The new LHA ships can embark 1,687 Marines and transport them and their equipment ashore by rotary-wing aircraft.

The LHA 6 America Class is based on the design of the LHD Makin Island Class. Key differences between LHA and the LHD class ships include an enlarged hangar deck, enhanced aviation maintenance facilities, carries more aviation fuel, additional aircraft storerooms, removal of the well deck, and an electronically reconfigurable C4ISR suite. The new LHAs will accommodate the U.S. Marine Corps' future Air Combat Element (ACE), and will employ F-35 Lightning II STOVL fighters, the MV-22 Osprey, CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters, AH-1Z Viper/UH-1Y Venom helicopters, and MH-60S Seahawk (aka Knighthawk) helicopters.

Electronic systems onboard include the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B, a multimode X-band pulse doppler radar that detects sea skimming missiles.

USS America (LHA 6), the first ship in the LHA-R U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Replacement program, was placed under contract in June 2007 with Huntington Ingalls Industries. LHA 6 was launched in June 2012 and christened on October 20, 2012. LHA 6 will be an "aviation-centric" modified repeat of the LHD 8 and is scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Navy in March 2014.



Armament/Ship Self-Defense:

The LHA-6 is equipped with seven 7.62mm .50 caliber machine guns, two Raytheon Mk 49 RAM Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS) with 21 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles, and two NATO Sea Sparrow launchers with one RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) each. For more detail, see specifications below.



Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of the LHA 6 America Class Assault Ship is $3.32 billion (end cost in FY 2011).



Program Cost:

The total procurement cost of the LHA Replacement program is $10.85 billion (estimated by the DoD) + $0.38 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $11.23 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made).



Mission/Role:

The LHA America Class provides a short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) and vertical take-off landing (VTOL) capability to support amphibious assaults. LHA 6 will be the U.S. Navy's largest expeditionary warfare ship.



FY 2014 DoD Program:

Provides $66.8 million for Outfitting/Post Delivery and Completion.



FY 2015 DoD Program:

Provides $32.0 million for Outfitting/Post Delivery + $29.1 million in advance procurement funds for LHA 8, which will be purchased in FY 2017.

For more information, click to view the Complete FY 2015 LHA-R Budget.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Huntington Ingalls.

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2015 Budget

Last Update: November 4, 2014.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:



Huntington Ingalls: LHA-6 Next Generation Amphibious Ship



YouTube: USS Nassau LHA-4 (Tarawa) | YouTube Videos



Fact Sheet: Not Available

LHA-R Program Cost:

 $11.23 billion  ($10.85B procurement + $0.38B RDT&E)

LHA-R Procurement Objective:

  3 ships

LHA-R U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the LHA America Class Assault Ship in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Purchases of LHA America Class Assault Ships in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12/13 + Budget for FYs 2014 + 2015

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the LHA America Class Assault Ship

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Shipbuilding & Conversion | LHA America Class Assault Ship
Specifications

Specifications: LHA 6 America Class Amphibious Assault Ship

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Primary Function: To provide a short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) and vertical take-off landing (VTOL) capability
Prime Contractor: Huntington Ingalls Industries
Propulsion: 2x marine gas turbines; two shafts; 70,000 total brake horsepower;
2x 5,000 horsepower auxiliary propulsion motors.
Length: 844 ft (114.91 m)
Beam: 106 ft (10.36 m)
Displacement: 45,695 metric tons
Speed: 20+ kts/23+ mph (37+ km/h)
Aircraft:
CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters;
MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft aircraft;
F-35B Lightning II STOVL fighters;
AH-1Z Viper/UH-1Y Venom helicopters;
and MH-60S Seahawk (aka Knighthawk) helicopters
Armament:
7x twin .50 cal. machine guns;
2x Raytheon Mk 49 RAM launching systems with 21x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles each;
2x NATO Sea Sparrow launchers with 1x RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) each;
and 2x Raytheon 20mm Mk 15 MOD 22 Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) gun mounts
Crew: 1,059 of which 65 are officers
Capacity: 1,687 marines (plus 184 surge)
Price/Unit Cost: $3.32 billion end cost (FY 2011)
Deployed: Delivery of LHA 6 USS America expected in March 2014; Initial Operational Capability (IOC) scheduled for FY 2016

Defense Program

Aircraft Programs Missile Programs Space Programs Shipbuilding Programs Vehicle Programs

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