US Tarawa class

US Iwo Jima class

Assault Carrier


Assault Carrier Tarawa class

The Tarawa class established the basis for all future assault carriers. They combine in a single hull the capabilities of previous LPH (helicopter carrier), LPD (well decks), LKA (cargo ships) and LCC (command and control ships) classes. They have distinctive bow sponsons, originally for 5in (127 mm) Mk 45 lightweight guns, subsequently removed in order to gain a squared-off forward flight deck.

Derivatives / Succeeded by
1989 US Wasp class
2014         US America (2014) class


39400full load (tn)
250length (m)
32beam (m)
7.90draught (m)
24max speed (knots)
70000power (shp)

2Naval Engine boilers
2Naval Engine steam turbines

2Missile Launcher Mk 49 21-cell RAM

4Naval Gun Mark 38 25 mm
2Close-In Weapon System CIWS Phalanx 20 mm
1Chaff and decoys Mark 36 SRBOC

1Aids TACAN URN-20
1Naval Radar air search radar AN/SPS-52

helicopter   Aircraft

Typical Max
US USMC B-V 107M H-46 Sea Knight 1242
US USMC Sikorsky S-80 H-53E 60
US USMC Bell 209 AH-1 Cobra 40
US USMC Bell UH-1N 20


US Ingalls Shipbuilding - 5

  List of Ships

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19762009USUS NavyLHA-1USS TarawaNLHA - 1
19772007USUS NavyLHA-2USS SaipanNHOV - 2
19782005 sunk 2006USUS NavyLHA-3USS Belleau WoodNBWD - 3
19792011USUS NavyLHA-4USS NassauNJPX - 4
19802015USUS NavyLHA-5USS Peleliu NPEL - 5
1989--USUS NavyLHD-1Wasp class USS WaspNEBP - 1
1992--USUS NavyLHD-2Wasp class USS Essex NESX - 2
1993--USUS NavyLHD-3Wasp class USS KearsargeNNKP - 3
1995--USUS NavyLHD-4Wasp class USS Boxer NBXR - 4
1997--USUS NavyLHD-5Wasp class USS BataanNBAT - 5
19982020USUS NavyLHD-6Wasp class USS Bonhomme Richard NBHR - 6
2001--USUS NavyLHD-7Wasp class USS Iwo JimaNXXG - 7
2009--USUS NavyLHD-8Wasp class USS Makin IslandNMXG - 8
2014--USUS NavyLHA-6America (2014) class USS AmericaNUSA - 6
2020--USUS NavyLHA-7America (2014) class USS TripoliNTRP - 7

15 units


1969-may-01OrderedOrdered US LHA-1 USS Tarawa
1969-nov-15OrderedOrdered US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood
1970-nov-06OrderedOrdered US LHA-5 USS Peleliu
1971-nov-15Laid downLaid down US LHA-1 USS Tarawa
1972-jul-21Laid downLaid down US LHA-2 USS Saipan
1973-mar-05Laid downLaid down US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood
1973-aug-13Laid downLaid down US LHA-4 USS Nassau
1973-dec-01LaunchedLaunched US LHA-1 USS Tarawa
1974-jul-20LaunchedLaunched US LHA-2 USS Saipan
1976-may-29CommissionedCommissioned US LHA-1 USS Tarawa
1976-nov-12Laid downLaid down US LHA-5 USS Peleliu
1977-apr-11LaunchedLaunched US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood
1977-oct-15CommissionedCommissioned US LHA-2 USS Saipan
1978-jan-21LaunchedLaunched US LHA-4 USS Nassau
1978-sep-23CommissionedCommissioned US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood
1978-nov-25LaunchedLaunched US LHA-5 USS Peleliu
1979-jul-28CommissionedCommissioned US LHA-4 USS Nassau
1980-may-03CommissionedCommissioned US LHA-5 USS Peleliu
1981-mar-03AircraftAircraft US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood accident CH-46D 153961
1982-oct-01Port VisitPort Visit US LHA-4 USS Nassau visited Portsmouth 1-6 Oct 1982 with Ships Flt UH-1N 160838 embarked.
1984 US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood organic helicopter was HH-1N 160834
1985DeploymentDeployment US LHA-1 USS Tarawa Pacific deployment for 6 months, including testing Mastiff UAV procedures in support of amphibious operations, until early 1986
1986-aug-29AircraftAircraft US LHA-2 USS Saipan CH-46 157689 accident
1988AircraftAircraft US LHA-2 USS Saipan SAR bird was UH-1N 158256 at least until 1992
1989-sep-10AircraftAircraft US LHA-5 USS Peleliu UH-1N 160828 accident
1992-mar-31Port VisitPort Visit US LHA-4 USS Nassau Embarked several Harriers and a UH-1 160448
1997-marDeploymentDeployment US LHA-4 USS Nassau Operation Helvin ordered off Albanian coast (under Operation Silver Wake) to evacuate US personnel and civilians from its embassy in Tirana.
1998-jul-09Port VisitPort Visit US LHA-1 USS Tarawa Embarked 6 AV8 of VMA-211 UH-1 159689 : 160175 AH-1 165044 : 165277 : 165280 : 165323 H-46 150958 : 151915 : 153350 : 154817 : 156420 : 156426 : 156439 : 157696 H-53 164362 : 164363 : 164364 : 164365 except for the 2 US Navy HH-46D all aircraft for composite unit HMM-268 with code YQ-..
2000-dec-23Port VisitPort Visit US LHA-4 USS Nassau , Italy up to 4jan01
2001-jan-08Port VisitPort Visit US LHA-4 USS Nassau , Malta up to 11jan01
2001-feb-02Port VisitPort Visit US LHA-4 USS Nassau , France up to 5feb01
2001-mar-13Port VisitPort Visit US LHA-4 USS Nassau , Malta up to 16mar01
2001-nov-25DeploymentDeployment US LHA-5 USS Peleliu Launched CH-63Es from HMM-163 carrying US Marines from Task Force 58 in their assault on Rhino.
2002-sepDeploymentDeployment US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood part of a 3 ship Amphibious Ready Group
2004-jun-29DeploymentDeployment US LHA-1 USS Tarawa RIMPAC 04 Participated in RIMPAC 04 exercise
2005-jun-24DeploymentDeployment US LHA-2 USS Saipan Fleet Review: Trafalgar 200 Present at Trafalgar 200 Fleet Review, off Ryde Sand anchorage
2005-jul-01Port VisitPort Visit US LHA-2 USS Saipan Present at International Festival of the Sea 2005, Portsmouth
2005-oct-28DecommissionedDecommissioned US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood
2005-oct-28StruckStruck US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood
2006-jul-13Fate: sunkFate: sunk US LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood as target during RIMPAC 06
2007-apr-25DecommissionedDecommissioned US LHA-2 USS Saipan
2008-jun-02Port VisitPort Visit US LHA-5 USS Peleliu visit Singapore
2009-mar-31DecommissionedDecommissioned US LHA-1 USS Tarawa to fleet reserve
2010-jan-18DeploymentDeployment US LHA-4 USS Nassau Operation Panlake Diverted with its embarked V-22 and 24 MEU to Haiti for Earthquake relief effort (arrived 18 Jan) as part of US Operation Unified Response, with USS Bataan.
2011-mar-31DecommissionedDecommissioned US LHA-4 USS Nassau to reserve fleet at Beaumont, TX

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