A San Diego-bound amphibious assault ship, the Navy’s latest America-class vessel, successfully completed builder’s trials in the Gulf of Mexico last week.
Amphibious assault ships are small aircraft carriers that carry dozens of helicopters, tiltrotors and vertical-takeoff jets to support Marine landings. The Navy has nine, with four based in San Diego, four in Norfolk and one forward-deployed to Japan.
“America-class ships bring tremendous capability to our sailors and Marines and Tripoli will be the first large-deck amphib to reach the fleet fully ready to integrate the Marine Corps air combat element to include Joint Strike Fighters,” said program manager said Tom Rivers.
The future USS Tripoli is the second ship in its class, the first of which is the USS America, which is based in San Diego. The new ship is 844 feet in length with a displacement of 45,000 tons and a speed of over 20 knots.
The Huntington Ingalls shipyard is also currently in production of a third America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Bougainville.
The Navy is steadily moving more ships to San Diego as it shifts focus to the Pacific Ocean. The number based here has increased from 49 in 2015 to 62 by the end of this year.
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