Notes: These were the first ships designed from the keel up as LPH’s, and the first amphibious assault ships in the world entirely dependant on aircraft to land troops. They have non-sequential hull numbers due to the Boxer class conversions. As built, they were planned to have Mk33 3” guns, these were quickly replaced by Sea Sparrow SAMS and later Mk15 Vulcan Phalanx CIWS. At the base of the island was a ramp for vehicles to drive up to the flight deck. The two elevators folded vertically when not in use. There was a wide variety in the engine particulars due to the contracts being awarded independently of the hulls.
USS Iwo Jima: Vietnam (several tours, including Tet counteroffensive), Nimbus Star (1974 MCM operations in Suez Canal), 1982 Beirut evacuation, Desert Storm. USS Okinawa: Vietnam, Desert Storm. USS Guadalcanal: Eagle Claw (1979 Tehran hostage rescue attempt), 1982 Beirut evacuation, Restore Hope (Somalia). USS Guam: Grenada invasion, Desert Storm, Sharp Edge (Liberia), Restore Hope (Somalia). USS Tripoli: Vietnam (several tours), Desert Storm, Eastern Exit/Restore Hope (Somalia). USS New Orleans: Vietnam (several tours), Desert Storm, Sharp Edge (Liberia), Restore Hope (Somalia). USS Inchon: Vietnam, Desert Storm, Sharp Edge (Liberia), Restore Hope (Somalia).
(Iwo Jima off downtown Beirut in 1982.)
(Mine damage to Inchon in drydock at Manama, Bahrain in 1991.)
Fates: Inchon was converted into a mine countermeasures support ship and described separately in the DB Encyclopedia. New Orleans was slated to become a possible museum ship in New Orleans, LA. After hurricane Katrina this was cancelled and the ship will likely be a SINKEX target in 2009.
Tripoli was transferred to the US Army in 1997. Initially based in San Francisco, the hulk was used as a mobile sensor platform for SAM tests. It enabled the Army to get sensor views otherwise not available. The hulk (with no propulsion) has been modified with a radome over the former bridge (the naval masts removed), and various other radars on the flight deck. Two large canvas tents cover some of the gear. Much of the ship is sealed off and tests are supported by 20’ shipping containers on deck. Later, the ship supported tests of the National Missile Defense programme, firing two Lance missiles off her deck. This is the only known seaborne launches of the Lance. In 2006, the ship was towed to Hawaii for further tests.
(ex-USS Tripoli in 2006.)
(Lance missile launch from ex-USS Tripoli in 2005.)
Displacement: 11,250t standard, 18,798t full Dimensions: 602’3”x104’x37’ Machinery: Steam-reduction: 2 Babcock & Wilcox or Combustion Engineering boilers, 1 DeLaval or General Electric or Westinghouse geared steam turbine, 1 shaft Max speed: 23kts Range: 10,000NM @ 20kts Complement: 902 (52 officers, 805 enlisted) + 1562 USMC detachment (158 officers, 1404 enlisted)
Typical configuration: 4 AV-8B Harrier, 8 CH-46 Sea Knight, 4 CH-53 Sea Stallion
MCM configuration: 8 MH-53 Sea Stallion, 4 CH-46 Sea Knight
Helo-max configuration: 16 CH-46 Sea Knight, 4 AH-1 Cobra
Sea Control Ship (USS Guam 1971): 12 AV-8A Harrier, 4 SH-2 Seasprite
x2 octuple Mk25 launchers for RIM-7 Sea Sparrow (8NM AA)
x4 (2 twin) Mk33 3” 6NM AA/surface
x2 Mk15 Phalanx CIWS 1NM AA
AN/SPS-65 (D) 2D air search: 100NM vs. large/high, 32NM vs. small/low / 10NM surface search (range, bearing)
AN/SPS-40 (E/F) 220NM max, 150NM vs. large/high, 48NM vs. small/low, 14NM vs. sea-skimming missile (range, bearing)
AN/SPS-10 (G) 48NM surface search (range, bearing)
Mk51 (I/J) 10NM FC for RIM-7
AN/SPS-59 (I) 28NM surface search (range, bearing)
AN/SPN-35 and AN/SPN-43 CCA radars
Mk36 SRBOC countermeasures launchers
AN/KAS-1 NBC warfare sensor
AN/URN-25 TACAN, AN/SRR-1 SATCOM, AN/WSC-3 secure UHF
(ex-USS Okinawa being struck by a Mk48 torpedo in 2002)