Landing helicopter dock

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Dixmude in Jounieh bay, Lebanon 2012
USS Essex performing a stern gate mating with a landing craft

Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), is the U.S. Navy (USN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and NATO[citation needed] hull classification symbol for multipurpose amphibious assault ships which are capable of operating helicopters and have a well deck.[1] These vessels are built with a full flight deck similar in appearance to an aircraft carrier to operate utility and attack helicopters. Some can also operate tilt rotor aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey and VSTOL aircraft such as the AV-8 Harrier and the F-35B Lightning II. Examples of this kind of ship include the USN's Wasp class, French Navy's Mistral class and ships of the Spanish Navy's Juan Carlos I class including those designs based on the class, such as the Royal Australian Navy's Canberra class.[1][2] Other nations also use the designation for their vessels, such as the Republic of Korea Navy for its Dokdo class.[3]

USN ship classes that precede and follow the ships classed LHD are designated as LHA (Landing Helicopter Assault) and are interchangeable with LHDs, they also have well decks with the exception of the first two America-class ships, LHA-6 and LHA-7, which take the space for larger aviation facilities.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Petty, Dan. "Fact File: Amphibious Assault Ships - LHA/LHD/LHA(R)". U.S. Navy. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  2. "Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD)". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  3. "The Dokdo Class: an LHD for the ROK". Defense Industry Daily. July 5, 2007. Retrieved August 20, 2015.