Landing Helicopter Assault

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USS Tarawa (LHA-1) underway in June 1997.
An aerial view of USS America (LHA-6) coming into port in San Diego, California, 15 September 2014

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 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.[1]

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.[2]

Name Commissioned Decommissioned
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 April 7, 2015
America-class amphibious assault ships
LHA-6 USS America October 11, 2014
LHA-7 USS Tripoli Under construction
LHA-8 USS Bougainville Planned


See also[edit]