Christening the Makin Island

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Northrop Grumman press release:

Patriotic tradition and unyielding optimism joined today when ship’s sponsor Silke B. Hagee smashed a champagne bottle against the hull of the Northrop Grumman-built (NYSE:NOC) amphibious assault ship Makin Island (LHD 8) before an audience of more than 1,000 guests.

With a confident and spirited swing, Hagee, wife of U.S. Marine Corps commandant Gen. Michael Hagee, capped a ceremony that honored some of America’s most heroic Marines and also signified a major milestone in the recovery of Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Pascagoula facility, which today hosted its first ship christening since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina…

Makin Island (LHD 8) is the eighth and final ship in the USS Wasp (LHD 1) Class, but is the first of the large deck amphibious assault ship class to be built with gas turbine engines and electric drive. Over the life of the ship, this design will provide significant savings in manpower and maintenance costs associated with traditional steam-powered amphibious ships…

The Makin Island is 844 feet long and 106 feet wide and weighs 42,800 tons. Its 70,000 horsepower hybrid propulsion system will drive it to speeds in excess of 20 knots. As a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship, it is designed to transport and land a Marine Expeditionary Unit, a force of almost 2,000 Marines, ashore by helicopter, landing craft and amphibious assault vehicle. It will also have secondary missions of sea control and power projection by helicopter and fixed-wing vertical short take-off and landing aircraft; command and control; and mission support, including a hospital with six operating rooms.


  1. Is it just me or is the island shaped differently than the other Wasp class ships? A result of the switch to gas turbine propulsion or is it just because its still under construction?