Saipan and Iwo Jima are Wasp Class amphibious ships. The Wasp-class are the largest amphibious ships in the world. WASP class ships are the first to be specifically designed to accomidate the AV-8B Harrier jump jet and the LCAC hovercraft, along with the full range of Navy and Marine helicopters, conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles to support a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) of 2,000 Marines.
View in Google Earth Categories: Sea - Amphibious
Links: www.chinfo.navy.mil
By: kjfitz
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Analogman picture
@ 2005-07-16 17:43:20
The ship with the 2 on the deck is actually the USS Saipan, LHA 2. Notice the pinched bow where the LHD has a squared off bow? The LHAs were built with, and had for many years, a 5-inch gun mount on either side of the bow, inside those notches.

Another key is the placement of the aircraft elevators. Both have elevators to port just aft of amidships but the LHA has an aft elevator located on the centerline of the ship whereas the LHD has it's second elevator located aft of the island on the starboard side.
kjfitz picture
@ 2006-02-27 14:55:10
Birds-eye-view has four ships docked here:

LHA-2 Saipan
LHD-1 Wasp
LHD-3 Kearsarge
LHD-5 Bataan

The Iwo Jima is the only other LHD home ported here in Norfolk.
kjfitz picture
@ 2006-02-27 14:59:52
...and the Iwo Jima is docked just a bit further north.
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