America (LHA-6) Underway in Gulf of Mexico


Via Chris Cavas,

The PCU* America (LHA-6) conducted builder’s trials in the Gulf of Mexico recently.

The new amphibious assault ship AMERICA (LHA 6) took to the sea for the first time Nov. 5, carrying out five days of builder’s sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries at their Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., the AMERICA was put through more than 200 test events. Engineers checked the operation of the gas turbine/electric-powered propulsion system, along with anchor handling, flight operations, and combat systems’ evaluations. The ship was operated by Ingalls employees assisted by members of the ship’s Navy crew.

“The Ingalls team and the ship performed very well,” said Richard Schenk, Ingalls’ vice president of test and trials.

We’re quite dubious about the thought process that leads to building an amphibious warfare ship that has no well deck. But having said that, this is a nice bit of progress, and coupled with the recent float-outs of PCU Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) makes for at least a little good Navy news.

*Until the ship is actually accepted by, and commissioned into the Navy, she’s referred to as “PCU” for “Pre-Commissioning Unit.” Upon commissioning, only then will she become USS America.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “America (LHA-6) Underway in Gulf of Mexico

  1. ultimaratioregis

    Future hulls are reported to have well-deckery designed in. But the overwhelming impression I get of watching LHA-6 at sea is “Essex-class”, though she is somewhat heavier. I would love to see a modified LHA-6 design capable of 30+ knots and with an angled deck for operation of Super Hornets and (possibly) F-35s along with the spate of helos.

    • Essex ships had twice the horsepower. But even if you DID cram in another 70k hp, you’d never get 33kts out of that hull.

      You’d have to design an entirely new hull. And the end result would be pretty much a 27C.

      I don’t particularly mind a big deck amphib focusing on improving the ACE side of the house. I’d just like to see at least some vestigial ability to dock with an LCAC or LCU, even if it doesn’t have a floodable well deck. Just a ramp/docking station would be very handy.

    • ultimaratioregis

      I wouldn’t ask for 33 knots. 30 would do us well. And a slight angle to the flight deck might be accommodated. Say, seven degrees.