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US Navy receives 8th Wasp

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posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 07:58 AM
The USS Makin Island (LHD-8) was turned over to the US Navy on 16 April. Her formal commission date will be in October of this year.

She displaces 41,355 tons full, 28,333 light. She's 847 feet long overall, 778 feet at the waterline, has a 110 ft beam (106 ft at the waterline), and has a 27 foot draft.

Makin Island is unique in the large ship class, because she has gas turbine propulsion installed, similar to what the Arleigh Burke destroyers use. It puts out 70,000shp, and a speed of 20 knots (officially). She also incorporates new all electric auxiliaries, new fire fighting systems, and the most advanced Command and Control and Combat systems in the Navy. She can carry as many as 45 CH-46 helicopters for assault, or a smaller compliment of helicopters, and 6-8 AV-8B Harriers. She also carries up to 3 LCAC hovercraft or 39 EFVs (after service entry in 2015) in her welldeck.

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 08:25 AM
Great info, especially the (official) speed!

These are the future of the Navy's business of driving Marines to the beach! Not to mention their spiffier than the old boiler buckets we used to get taxied around the world in.

Any idea where she'll undergo trials (I know builder's are over... where is she headed?)? I have a buddy at Little Creek learning to drive LCAC's, so maybe we'll be able to get pics(?)


[edit on 21/4/09 by cbianchi513]

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 08:42 AM

I found a few pics of this puppy.

[edit on 21-4-2009 by grey580]

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 08:45 AM
Builder trials were in the Gulf of Mexico, with commissioning in San Diego, which will be her home port. I'd say either the Gulf, or in the Pacific.

Makin Island is the last Wasp. Next will be the America Class (LHA-6), which will be based on the changes made to Makin Island.

Some nice pics of her during builder trials in the Gulf.

[edit on 4/21/2009 by Zaphod58]

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 08:47 AM
reply to post by grey580

Yeah, headed to SD... Gents from Pendleton get to ride her. She sure is spiffy.

Based on who is with USS Boxer, I'd say this baby is going to the 15th MEU.

[edit on 21/4/09 by cbianchi513]

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 08:53 AM
reply to post by cbianchi513

Ok, this is interesting. The America Class LHAs will be more like the Escort Carriers of WWII than they will be the current assault carriers. They will be expanding their aircraft capability, with a larger hangar deck, and eliminating the well deck. They'll carry the MEB, along with up to twelve MV-22B Ospreys, eight AH-1 SuperCobras, ten F-35Bs, four CH-53Ks and four Navy MH-60S "Knighthawks" (expected, as she won't be in service for a few more years). She's going to be a 45,000 ton ship, 844 feet long. USS America is under construction at Pascagoula and slated for delivery in 2013.

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 09:01 AM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Sounds right up your alley, and mine too! Us grunts always liked CAS, and the increased capability sounds like having a little MCAS floating out there with our strike group.

Yep, the Navy is getting their act together.

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 09:06 AM
It's a terrible shame these wonderfully versatile ships are often forgotten about when folks think about US carriers. The Nimitz class ships always get the glory, yet the Wasp ships themselves are larger than most allied carriers too. I see there's no ski jump for their Harriers, unlike the British, Spanish & Italian equivalents. Any reason for that ?

I can't help but think the UK would've done better to invest in 3 or 4 of these ships rather than the 2 new Queen Elizabeth class carriers.

Great photographs, Zaphod58 !

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 09:29 AM
reply to post by The Lass

Deck space. A ski jump ramp, while letting the Harriers max out their loads, cuts down on what you can park on the deck. So you'd end up with some on deck, and some on the hangar bay, taking up room that could be better left open for other things.

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 10:03 AM
Hey, nice boat!

Does anyone know what Strike Group this will be attached to? I'm assuming CSG 11(Nimitz), but, I may be wrong.


posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 12:55 AM
besides total overall size, how is this vessel and others' of its class different from aircraft carriers?

posted on Apr, 28 2009 @ 02:25 PM
Wow these ships are bigger than the British and Spanish carriers. Must have cost a bomb, but how effective will these ships be when put up against the somali pirates?

Is the Predator C deployable on these ships?

posted on Apr, 28 2009 @ 03:02 PM

Originally posted by Threadfall
besides total overall size, how is this vessel and others' of its class different from aircraft carriers?

It's not really an aircraft carrier, Well not in the usual since anyway.

USS Makin Island (LHD-8)

USS Makin Island (LHD-8), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, will be the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Makin Island, target of the Marine Raiders' attack early on in the United States' involvement in World War II.

Makin Island was laid down on 14 February 2004 by the Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi. She was christened on 19 August 2006, sponsored by Mrs. Silke Hagee, wife of General Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and launched on 15 September 2006. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, US Navy officials announced that several ships under construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding had been damaged by the storm, including Makin Island and two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

Makin Island was delivered to the US Navy on 16 April 2009 and is scheduled to be commissioned in October 2009.[2]

posted on Apr, 28 2009 @ 04:05 PM

Originally posted by Threadfall
besides total overall size, how is this vessel and others' of its class different from aircraft carriers?

and these are the last of there class - the new ships will remove the `unique` capability in the form of the well deck

well deck i hear you cry?

to quote wiki

A well deck or well dock is a hangar like deck located at the waterline in the stern of some amphibious assault ships. By taking on water the ship can lower its stern, flooding the well deck and allowing boats and amphibious landing craft to dock within the ship. This facilitates moving cargo between the ship and smaller craft during amphibious operations. Well decks are a feature of modern types of amphibious warfare ship such as the amphibious transport dock, dock landing ship and Landing Helicopter Dock.

the new USS America class remove this and enjoy increased aircraft hanger space and would truely become `Escort Carriers`

posted on May, 2 2009 @ 10:40 AM

Originally posted by Threadfall
besides total overall size, how is this vessel and others' of its class different from aircraft carriers?


This type of carrier differs greatly from the full sized carriers in critical areas.

They are not nuclear powered. They use either gas turbine or some kind of electric drive powered by diesel generators. The new trend in a lot of ships is variable pitch propellers.

They have a very different compliment of aircraft, rotary and fixed wing, for which they are designed to carry and operate.

They do not have catapults or arresting gear.

Their weapons magazines are configured for a slightly different loadout than are the larger type carriers.

This means that their mission formats/parameters are significantly different from those of the full sized carriers.

THere is no well deck on full sized carriers...though as I understand it in some future designs this may be deleted from these amphibious ships.

Can they land predators someone asked...No I don't think so. First off if you look at a predator..they look to fragile to survive constant launching and recovery aboard ship. I do not know what the take off run is of a predator...but I believe it is to long for this type of ship. More important ..I also do not know what is the recovery or landing run for a Predator. Remember that these ships do not have an arresting gear....or wires to recover certain types of aircraft.

Also and most important for aircraft which do not hover as do the aircraft have more heavy landing gear configurations than do those of the Air Force. They need this for carrier landings. A carrier landing is horribly rough not only on the landing gear, but also on whole airframe as well. Take a look at the landing gear of a predator..does this look like a heavy duty carrier worthy set up??
This is why in the overall scheme of things you often see the Navy going to specific contractors to build thier which have much experience with the navy carrier board requirements and specifications..verses the Air Force. The Navy needs airframes and landing gear of more rugged construction. When you watch an aircraft like an F14 hit the deck and grab the can see the whole airframe flex....then the whole airframe gets snagged to a stop by the wire...including and especially the landing gear.
I don't believe the predator is built tough enough to survive continual carrier deck operations...of any type.

Do not despair about this for I know that the defense department and particularly the Navy is working on a carrier based stealth unmanned aircraft. I believe that landings have been done with prototype aircraft to check out the feasibility of carrier operations, take offs and landings, as well as mock ups brought on board to check out the capability of the deck handling crews to maneuver and handle such aircraft on the flight decks as well as the hanger decks. The Navy is working on this concept. They are not idle here.
And furthermore...unmanned aircraft have been refueled midair of recent ..both by manned tankers and also other unmanned aircraft as a practical and feasability experiment. We are not sitting idle in this arena.
Changes are coming rapidly.

Hope this helps,

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