Keel laid for US Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS Fallujah
The keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Fallujah (LHA 9) was held at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Pascagoula shipyard, on 20 September.
Future USS Fallujah is the fourth ship of the America-class of amphibious assault ships, built to facilitate forward presence and power projection.
LHA 9 is the second Flight I ship of the class, with a reincorporated well deck to increase operational flexibility while maximizing the aviation capability inherent to Flight 0 ships.
Designed to support the Marine Corps tenets of Operational Maneuver from the Sea and Ship to Objective Maneuver, America-class ships are capable of rapid combat power buildup ashore.
The America-class accommodates the Marine Corps’ Air Combat Element including F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and MV-22 Osprey, essential to maintaining power projection, air superiority, and theater logistics.
The ship will commemorate the First and Second Battles of Fallujah during the Iraq War.
HII’s Pascagoula shipyard is also currently in production on the future USS Bougainville (LHA 8) and amphibious transport dock ships, future USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29), USS Harrisburg (LPD 30) and USS Pittsburgh (DDG 131).
The shipyard is also under contract for fourteen Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers awarded as part of the FY18-27 multiyear procurement.