With the American Class LHAs, the US Navy returns to light aircraft carriers

A few days ago, the assault aircraft carrier USS America, the first unit of the eponymous class, paired with San Diego's military port to relieve the USS Wasp on mission in the Western Pacific. For the first time, the ship carries on board 13 F-35 B from the Marine Corps, as well as V-22 Osprey and AH-1 Super Cobra helicopters, making it possible to use the ship no longer as a carrier. assault aircraft, as the Wasp and Tarawa-class LHDs have been for decades, but as a light aircraft carrier.

As a standard, the 8 Wasp-class LHDs in service in the US Navy carry on board 6 to 10 Harrier II fighter jets, replaced in recent years by F-35 B Lightning 2s which are gradually commissioning in the 'US Marines Corps. Like the Harrier, the F-35 B can take off and land vertically, or on a very short take-off run, thanks to its adjustable nozzle and a balancing and control blower located aft of the cockpit. In fact, unlike the F-35 Cs in service on the Nimitz and Ford class aircraft carriers, the F-35 B does not need a catapult to take off, nor stop lines to land.

The vertical or short take-off and landing capabilities of the F35B give it unique capabilities to be deployed from aircraft carriers and helicopter carriers without a catapult or stopper strands.

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