Landing Helicopter Assault
LHA, for Landing Helicopter Assault, is the United States Navy's hull classification symbol for the general purpose helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ships of the Tarawa and the future America classes. They are used to transport Fleet Marine Force personnel and equipment while operating in a deployed Marine Expeditionary Unit. They normally travel in groups called Amphibious Ready Groups. These ships and their escorts are capable of anything from landing operations, to humanitarian operations. These vessels 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.
The first two ships of the new America-class, LHA-6 and LHA-7, differ from both the older Tarawa-class LHAs and LHDs in that they will have no well deck, LHA-8 and following ships will again include well deck facilities.
|Tarawa-class amphibious assault ships|
|LHA-1||USS Tarawa||May 29, 1976||September 30, 2009|
|LHA-2||USS Saipan||October 15, 1977||April 20, 2007|
|LHA-3||USS Belleau Wood||September 23, 1978||October 28, 2005|
|LHA-4||USS Nassau||July 28, 1979||March 31, 2011|
|LHA-5||USS Peleliu||May 3, 1980|
|America-class amphibious assault ships|
|LHA-6||USS America||Undergoing sea trials|
|LHA-7||USS Tripoli||Under construction|
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