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LHX amphibious assault ships are a conceptual next-generation assault ship intended to replace the Tarawas. The Navy's current plan is to conduct a service life extension program (SLEP) overhaul on the Tarawa class amphibious assault ships when they reach the 35 year point in their operating life. The SLEP would provide another 15 years of life at a cost of nearly $1.0 billion per SLEP. The SLEP would extend the machinery operating life and provide communications upgrades. However, stability would remain a main concern and the LHA has limited capabilities to support 21st century littoral warfare systems such as the landing craft air cushion (LCAC) and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

In the event the Tarawa SLEP is not funded, and if possible further units of the LHA-1 Wasp class are not authorized, the first of the LHX class is planned for authorization 2005 with commissioning in 2011, with at least five units to be constructed. The design would probably be based on the Wasp design, apart from the use of a dry deck for hovercraft instead of a docking well.


Power Plant Two boilers, two geared steam turbines, two shafts, 70,000 shaft horsepower
Length 844 feet (253.2 meters)
Beam 106 feet (31.8 meters)
Displacement Approx. 40,500 tons (36,450 metric tons) full load
Speed 20+ knots (23.5+ miles per hour)
Aircraft Assault -- 42 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
Sea Control -- 20 AV-8B Harrier attack planes; Six ASW helicopters
Crew Ships Company 104 officers, 1,004 enlisted
Marine Detachment: 1,894
Armament Two NATO Sea Sparrow launchers; three 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts; eight .50 cal. machine guns


HullNameBuilderAuthorizedLaid DownLaunchedCommissionedStriken
LVX 1( Tarawa )20062008201020112046
LVX 2( Saipan )20072009201120122047
LVX 3( Belleau Wood )20082010201220132048
LVX 4( Nassau )20092011201320142049
LVX 5( Peleiu )20102012201420152050

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Sunday, April 19, 1998 4:53:33 PM