Amphibious Assault Ships (LHA/LHD)
The largest of all amphibious warfare ships, the LHD is a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship that resembles a small aircraft carrier. Each can carry 1,870 troops as well as a variety of air and landing craft. They have nine aircraft spots with a deck multiple limit of 42 CH-46 equivalents, and can hold three landing craft, air cushions (LCAC), two landing craft units (LCU) or 39 amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) or 140 wheeled vehicles. They are equipped with 50 regular and 16 ICU medical beds. Each can carry up to 750 pallets of U.S. Marine Corps ammunition. LHDs can support several different types of missions from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to combat operations.
LHDs are capable of Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL), Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL), Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) tilt-rotor and Rotary Wing (RW) aircraft operations; contains a well deck to support use of LCAC and other watercraft (with exception of the first two LHA(R) class ships, LHA 6 and LHA 7, which have no well deck)
The Wasp-class LHDs are currently the largest amphibious ships in the world. The lead ship, USS Wasp (LHD 1) was commissioned in July 1989 in Norfolk, Virginia.