US Navy's Wasp class LHD USS Kearsarge visits Lithuania

According to a tweet published by Ryan Chan on August 25, 2022, the US Navy's amphibious assault ship (LHD) USS Kearsarge enters port in Klaipėda, Lithuania for a port visit.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 US Navy's Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (Picture source: U.S. DoD)

USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) is the third Wasp-class amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy. She was launched on 26 March 1992, in a ceremony attended by then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell. The warship was christened on 16 May 1992, and commissioned on 16 October 1993.

The ship has a length of 843 ft (257 m), a beam of 104 ft (31.8 m), and a draft of 27 ft (8.1 m). She can reach a top speed of 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) and a displacement of 40,500 long tons (41,150 t) full load.

The assault support system on the ship coordinates vertical and horizontal movement of troops, cargo and vehicles. A Monorail system, moving at speeds up to 600 ft/min (3 m/s), transports cargo and supplies from storage and staging areas throughout the ship to a 13,600-square-foot (1,260 m2) well deck, which opens to the sea through huge gates in the ship's stern.

There, the cargo, troops, and vehicles are loaded onto landing craft for transit to the beach. The air cushion landing craft can "fly" out of the dry well deck, or the well deck can be flooded so that conventional landing craft can float out on their way to the beach.

Simultaneously, helicopters can be lifted from the hangar deck to the flight deck by two deck-edge elevators and loaded with supplies from three massive cargo elevators.

Kearsarge's armament suite includes the NATO RIM-7 Sea Sparrow point defense system for anti-aircraft support, RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles, 25-mm chain guns, and the Phalanx close-in weapon system to counter threats from low-flying aircraft and close-in small craft. Missile decoy launchers augment the anti-ship missile defenses.