Northrop Grumman Corporation's Ship Systems sector started fabrication May
22 on LHD 8, a multipurpose amphibious assault ship
. U.S. Navy and
Marine Corps representatives lauded the Northrop Grumman team
's efforts and the significant impact and support these ships offer to the defense of American freedom.
Ship Systems Ingalls Operations has delivered seven LHD 1 Wasp-class ships and five LHA 1 Tarawa-class of amphibious ships. LHD 8 marks the eighth ship in the class.
LHD 8 is the first amphibious ship that
will be powered by gas turbine engines instead of a steam plant. The ship will also have all-electric auxiliary systems that will provide the Navy and Marine
Corps team with significant savings in manpower and maintenance costs, while also saving on fuel expenditures. LHD 8 represents evolutionary and transformational steps towards the future.
LHDs embark, transport, deploy, command and fully support all elements of a Marine Expeditionary Unit of 2,000 Marines, inserting forces ashore via helicopters, landing craft and amphibious vehicles. LHDs are fully equipped with command and control systems for flagship command duty. The Wasp-class is the first specifically designed to utilize air-cushion landing craft
for an assault, and to carry a squadron of AV-8B Harrier II jets and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for operational support.
LHD 8 is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in mid-2007.