Amphibious Assault Ship USS America sails through Taiwan straits

TAIPEI (GDC) — The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) sailed east of Taiwan on Thursday (Aug. 27), according to a tweet from a Chinese think tank.

The appearance of the warship comes at a time when China is conducting military drills in four areas along its coast, from Shandong in the north to the island of Hainan in the south.

The Beijing-based South China Sea (SCS) Probing Initiative released a tweet Friday (Aug. 28) positioning a U.S. warship in the Pacific east of Taitung County, CNA reported. The message said the ship was about 272 meters long, thereby identifying it as the USS America.

An official Tweet linked to the ship posted pictures of its operations at sea, but without specifying the time or place.

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In a separate tweet, the Chinese think tank also mentioned it had located four U.S. aircraft in the area over the Bashi Channel separating Taiwan from the Philippines. The aircraft were an EP-3E spy plane, two P-8A anti-submarine aircraft, and one KC-135R refueling plane.

America, the Navy’s newest big deck amphibious warship, will replace the Navy’s oldest, USS Wasp (LHD-1), as the service’s forward-deployed big deck in the Pacific. On Monday, Wasp arrived at its new homeport, Norfolk, after spending nearly two years based out of Japan.

America is an aviation-centric big deck amphibious assault ship. Unlike the Wasp-class ships, America does not have a well deck and instead was built with increased space for jet fuel, aircraft equipment and maintenance.

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