Miss. - Huntington Ingalls Industries and its Ingalls
Shipbuilding division has christened the multipurpose amphibious assault ship America (LHA 6). The ship, the first in
a new class, is the fourth U.S. Navy vessel to be named America, extending a legacy dating back to 1861.
Pace, wife of retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, served as the ship's sponsor and christened the ship. "Thank you for
building such a magnificent ship," Pace said in a statement.
"You have put love, care and incredible craftsmanship into it. You are
Americans working on an American ship that will carry Americans defending the
James F. Amos, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, was the keynote
speaker at the christening event. "Know that your Navy and Marine Corps
team will put America to good
use," he told the audience of about 2,000 onlookers. "As we celebrate
this moment, rest assured that this ship will play an important role in keeping
our nation secure and its liberty and interests secure for decades to
America enters the fleet, she will be
the flagship of an Expeditionary Strike Group, strategically positioning Marine
Expeditionary units ashore on a full spectrum of missions including
humanitarian, disaster relief, maritime security, antipiracy and other
operations while providing air support for ground forces, according to the
ship, America, and others like her
are being built by HII for the administration after next – for use on behalf of
the generation after next," said Huntington Ingalls (HII) president and CEO Mike Petters, in a
statement. "We build ships to help accomplish missions of the future, and
most of those missions are unknown today. At HII, it's a job we've taken very
seriously for more than a century."
has built 13 amphibious assault ships: five in the Tarawa (LHA 1) class and eight in the Wasp (LHD 1) class. HII received a $2.38 billion contract in May to
build Tripoli (LHA 7), the next ship
in the America class.
other shipyard in the United States can boast the amount of experience that
Ingalls has in the production of these critically important ships," Ingalls Shipbuilding president Irwin F. Edenzon, said in a statement. "But more
importantly, we build quality ships. Our shipbuilders know that the ships we
build carry sailors and marines who are our friends, our neighbors, our sons,
daughters, nieces and nephews--America's heroes."
America-class ships are 844’x106’ and will displace 44,971 long tons. The gas turbine propulsion system will
drive the ships in excess of 20 knots. They will accommodate 1,059 crew (65
officers) and 1,687 troops. The America-class
will be capable of carrying a Marine Expeditionary Unit, including Marine
helicopters, MV‐22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and F‐35B
Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.
newest 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.