Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli officially joins US Navy fleet

On July 15, 2020, the US Navy commissioned its new amphibious assault ship, USS Tripoli (LHA 7).

Although the navy canceled the traditional public commissioning ceremony due to public health and safety restrictions on large public gatherings, it commissioned the USS Tripoli administratively and the ship transitioned to normal operations.

Meanwhile, the US Navy said it is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the special event with the USS Tripoli’s sponsor, crew and commissioning committee.

USS Tripoli (LHA 7) transits the Gulf of Mexico during builder’s trials, July 15, 2019. Photo: US Navy

 “This ship will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world, from maintaining the sea lanes to countering instability to maintaining our edge in this era of renewed great power competition,” Kenneth J. Braithwaite, Secretary of the Navy, commented.

In February this year, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered USS Tripoli to the navy after the ship passed a series of sea trials in 2019.

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According to the navy, LHA 7 incorporates key components to provide the fleet with a more aviation-centric platform. Tripoli’s design features 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. The ship is the first LHA replacement ship to depart the shipyard ready to integrate the entire future air combat element of the Marine Corps, to include the Joint Strike Fighter.

Along with its pioneering aviation element, LHA 7 incorporates gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and fuel-efficient electric auxiliary propulsion systems first installed on USS Makin Island (LHD 8).

USS Tripoli is 844 feet in length, has a displacement of approximately 44,000 long tons, and will be capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.

The newbuild is the third US Navy ship to be named Tripoli. The name honors and commemorates the force of U.S. Marines and approximately 370 soldiers from 11 other nationalities who captured the city of Derna, Libya, during the 1805 Battle of Derna. The battle resulted in a subsequent peace treaty and the successful conclusion of the combined operations of the First Barbary War, and was later memorialized in the Marines’ Hymn with the line, “to the shores of Tripoli.”