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USS Tripoli prepares for sea trials after fitting-out tests

The Naval Sea Systems Command announced on Wednesday that the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli concluded its Fitting Out Availability. Photo by MCS1 Woody Paschall/U.S. Navy
The Naval Sea Systems Command announced on Wednesday that the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli concluded its Fitting Out Availability. Photo by MCS1 Woody Paschall/U.S. Navy

March 31 (UPI) -- The large-deck amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli completed its Fitting Out Availability and awaits sea trials, the U.S. Navy announced on Wednesday.

The FOA on the ship, the Navy's second in the America class, concluded last week in San Diego, Naval Sea Systems Command said in a press release on Wednesday.

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The sea trials will involve performance validation, including "navigation, damage control, mechanical and electrical systems, combat systems, communications and propulsion applications to ensure mission readiness."

"The combined post-delivery and Tripoli team completed six months of depot-level work on time, a significant accomplishment in this COVID-19 environment," Capt. Joel Lang, Tripoli's commanding officer, said in the release.

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The ship, 844 feet long, was commissioned in 2020, and is meant for use in landing and supporting ground forces in amphibious assaults.

The USS Tripoli, however, is what the branch calls a "more aviation-centric platform," with Joint Strike Force capability modifications which include use by Marine Corps' F-35B aircraft.

The America-class of amphibious assault ships, which includes the Tripoli, is designed to put a Marine Expeditionary Unit ashore using helicopters and the Marines' vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft.

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It can operate as a flagship for an expeditionary strike group, similar to conventional aircraft carriers, according to the Navy.

The class of amphibious assault ships employs a hybrid-electric propulsion system, using gas-turbines for high speeds and diesel-electric engines when operating in situations that require lower speeds close to shore.

The ship, designated LHA-7, still has its Post Delivery Test and Trials phase, Final Contract Trials and Post Shakedown Availability before eventually joining the fleet, the statement added.

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"The crew is ready to take the ship to sea to complete bow-to-stern testing to prove the combat effectiveness of assault carrier 7," Lang said.

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