US Navy christens amphibious assault ship USS Bougainville
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division has christened the US Navy’s third America-class amphibious assault ship Bougainville (LHA 8).
As informed, the vessel was christened at a ceremony held in Pascagoula, Mississippi on December 2.
Bougainville is the third ship of the America-class of amphibious assault ships built to facilitate forward presence and power projection. LHA 8 is the first Flight I ship of the America-class with a reincorporated well deck to increase operational flexibility while maximizing the aviation capability inherent in the Flight 0 ships, USS America (LHA 6) and USS Tripoli (LHA 7).
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 also 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.
LHA 8 is the second Navy ship to be named Bougainville. The name honors and commemorates the site of a major World War II campaign during which Navy and Marine Corps forces captured the Island of Bougainville, isolating Japan’s Rabaul air base.
“Bougainville’s christening symbolizes their enduring legacy – a legacy etched into the very soul of this vessel,” Major Gen. James Adams said.
Ingalls has delivered 15 large-deck amphibious ships to the US Navy. The shipyard delivered 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. In addition to Bougainville, Fallujah (LHA 9) is also under construction, and the company authenticated the keel during a ceremony in September 2023.