A shipbuilding arm of Huntington Ingalls Industries has begun to fabricate an America-class amphibious assault ship as part of U.S. Navy‘s LHA Replacement Program.
The company said Tuesday fabrication of the Bougainville marks the shipyard's readiness to start construction work on HII’s 16th large-deck vessel.
LHA 8 is designed to have aviation-related features and a well deck for the U.S. Marine Corps to store and launch one landing craft utility or two landing craft air cushion hovercraft during maritime operations.
The ship will also feature the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar and a larger flight deck meant to accommodate Joint Strike Fighter and Osprey V-22 aircraft platforms.
Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said the company intends to leverage its production line and nationwide supplier base when working with the Navy and Marine Corps on the project.