Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Shipbuilding sector delivered to the U.S. Navy on April 16, one of the nation's newest and most advanced ships, the amphibious-assault ship Makin Island (LHD 8) during a short ceremony held on the vessel's flight deck.
Makin Island (LHD 8) was delivered to the U.S. Navy after successfully completing acceptance sea trials. Acceptance trials are conducted to allow representatives of the U.S. Navy Board of Inspection and Survey to witness and evaluate operation of ship systems and ship performance.
Makin Island is the eighth USS Wasp (LHD 1)-class amphibious assault ship built by the company's shipbuilders in Pascagoula, Miss. It is 844 ft long, 106 ft wide and weighs 42,800 tons. Its 70,000 horsepower hybrid propulsion system will drive it to speeds in excess of 20 knots. Makin Island contains the first gas turbine/electric-powered propulsion system ever used on large deck amphibious assault ships. The gas turbine engines and electric drive, a change from previous steam-powered amphibious-assault ships, will provide significant life-cycle savings in manpower and maintenance costs over the previous ships.
As a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship, Makin Island is designed to transport and land a Marine Expeditionary Unit, a force of almost 2,000 Marines, ashore by helicopter, landing craft and amphibious assault vehicle. It will also have secondary missions of sea control and power projection by helicopter and fixed-wing vertical short take-off and landing aircraft; command and control; and mission support, including a hospital with six operating rooms. Makin Island is scheduled for commissioning at its San Diego homeport in October 2009.