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Huntington Ingalls receives US Navy Advance Procurement Contract for Amphibious Assault Ship LHA 9.

| 2021

American shipyard Huntington Ingalls Industries announced on April 19, 2021, that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has received a fourth contract modification from the U.S. Navy for $107 million to provide long-lead-time material and advance procurement activities for amphibious assault ship LHA 9 (Landing helicopter assault) also called amphibious assault ship.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The LHA 9 will be an America-class amphibious assault ship as the LHA 6 USS America. (Picture source US Navy)

Ingalls is the sole builder of large-deck amphibious ships for the Navy. The shipyard delivered its first amphibious assault ship, the Iwo Jima-class USS Tripoli (LPH 10), in 1966. Ingalls has since built five Tarawa-class (LHA 1) ships, eight Wasp-class (LHD 1) ships and the first in the new America class of amphibious assault ships (LHA 6) in 2014. The second ship in the America class, USS Tripoli (LHA 7), was delivered to the Navy in early 2020. Bougainville (LHA 8) is under construction.

The USS America (LHA 6), was delivered to the Navy in 2014. It was the first in the new class of amphibious assault ships replacing USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Ingalls’ next ship in the class, Tripoli (LHA 7), was delivered to the Navy in the first quarter of 2020. Construction on Bougainville (LHA 8) began in October 2018. The Navy has awarded $350 million in advance funding to Ingalls for LHA 9.

The LHA 9 is an America-class amphibious assault ship that will be built by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division and ordered for the United States Navy. Currently, three ships of this class have already been ordered by the U.S. Navy including the LHA-6 USS America, LHA-7 USS Tripoli, and LHA-9 USS Bougainville. These types of ships are built with a full flight deck similar in appearance to an aircraft carrier to operate utility and attack helicopters. They can also operate tilt rotor aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey and STOVL aircraft such as the AV-8 Harrier and the F-35B Lightning II.

LHA 6 class ships are 257 m long and 32 m wide and displace 44,854 tons. The gas turbine propulsion system drives the ship in excess of 22 knots. The ships accommodate 1,204 crew and 1,871 troops and are capable of carrying a Marine Expeditionary Unit, including Marine helicopters, V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and F-35B V/STOL Joint Strike Fighters.

Carrying a complement of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will significantly enhance the Marine Air Ground Task Force’s projection of combat power capabilities in any given crisis response situation. Removal of the well deck for landing craft allows for an extended hangar deck with two significantly wider high bay areas, each fitted with an overhead crane for aircraft maintenance. 

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