Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division officially started fabrication of the America-class amphibious assault ship Bougainville (LHA 8) on Monday (Oct.15). The start of fabrication signifies that the shipyard is ready for sustained production and ready to move forward with the construction of the ship.
Bougainville will retain the aviation capability of the America-class design while adding the surface assault capability of a well deck. The well deck will give the U.S. Marine Corps the ability to house and launch two landing craft air cushion (LCAC) hovercraft or one landing craft utility (LCU) as needed during their maritime missions. Other additions to Bougainville include a larger flight deck configured for Joint Strike Fighter and Osprey V-22 aircraft, which can be used for surface and aviation assaults. The additional area on the flight deck comes in part from a smaller deck house and an additional sponson.