Amphibious assault ships are not aircraft carriers

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If you thought these two ships were actually the same, don’t worry! In military terms, it is very common to confuse amphibious assault ships with aircraft carriers. Indeed, the differences between these two types of vessels are often difficult to spot.


That’s why we’re here to explain what an amphibious assault ship is and help you differentiate it from a typical aircraft carrier.

Plus, we’ll take a look at the America Class, the most advanced amphibious assault ship ever.

RELATED: The Navy’s Newest Amphibious Assault Ship USS Tripoli Sets Sails For San Diego


What is an amphibious assault ship?



Amphibious assault ship
Via: Wikipedia

Thus, according to Wikipedia, amphibious assault ships are employed to disembark and support ground forces in enemy territory by an amphibious assault. There are amphibious assault ships that support airplanes with vertical and / or short take-off and landing planes and therefore they can also function as aircraft carriers.


But essentially, the purpose of an amphibious assault ship is different from that of an aircraft carrier. The decks and installations of an assault ship primarily support helicopters rather than the planes of an aircraft carrier. However, there are many types of aircraft like the Harrier or the F-35B that can also be used on amphibious assault ships. Other short take-off and vertical landing aircraft, air cushion landing craft (hovercraft) and utility landing craft are also available options for these vessels.

Amphibious Assault Ships include ships with a large deck such as Landing Platform Helicopter, Landing Assault Helicopter, and Landing Helicopter Dock Ships.


RELATED: Here’s What Makes America’s Aircraft Carriers Virtually Unsinkable

The mighty American class



USS America
Via: Flickr

Although many countries deploy amphibious assault ships, the United States Navy has the most advanced and powerful ship in its class, the America class. Huntington Ingalls Industries and Ingalls Shipbuilding Division began building the ships in 2008 and eleven are planned in total. In 2021, one vessel is under construction and two are already completed and active. The first began serving the U.S. Navy in 2014.

The exact type of the amphibious assault ship in question is an Assault Landing Helicopter (LHA). The America class has a displacement of 44,971 tonnes at full load, an overall length of 257 meters and a width of 32 meters.


The ship can only carry helicopters and airplanes with STOVL capabilities. It can carry around 20 to 25 AV-8B, F-35B or a combination of the two. Other options are multipurpose helicopters like the MH-60 Seahawk. A typical layout would be twelve MV-22B Osprey helicopters, six F-35Bs, four CH-53K heavy lift helicopters, seven AH-1Z / UH-1Y attack / utility helicopters and two Navy MH-60S Knighthawks for air rescue. -sea.

This aircraft workforce is incredibly impressive and is one of the most dangerous around. The America Class has excellent systems and specifications, but by far its biggest feature is the aircraft options it could carry. With such vehicles on its deck, this amphibious assault ship could neutralize any possible threat in land hot spots.



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