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USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2)

Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) is the hull classification used by a number of the world's navies to designate a type of amphibious warfare ship designed primarily to operate as a launch and recovery platform for helicopters and other VTOL aircraft. As such they are considered a type of helicopter carrier.

Under the NATO STANAG document for reporting vessels, LPH is a short form designator used for "Amphibious Assault Ship, Helicopter" defined as a "large helicopter carrier" for carry and deploying around 1,800 assault troops using its own aircraft but for which use of landing craft is "not a principal function". For ships of this hull classification in the Royal Navy LPH is a direct acronym for "Landing Platform Helicopter" while the United States Navy referred to its vessels within this classification as "Amphibious Assault Ships." Regardless of the terminology all vessels classified as an LPH possess essentially similar capabilities.

The Royal Navy also used the term "Commando Carrier" which it applied to aircraft carriers converted to helicopter only operations. The RN now operates two vessels which it classifies as LPHs, HMS Ocean and, following the British government's decision to withdraw its Harrier aircraft at the end of 2010, the former light fleet carrier HMS Illustrious.

The LPH classification was used by the United States Navy for the amphibious assault ships of the Iwo Jima class and three converted Essex class aircraft carriers. No ships of this classification are currently in active service with the United States Navy having been replaced with multi-purpose ships classified under NATO naming conventions as Landing Helicopter Dock or Landing Helicopter Assault ships.

Ships classified as LPH

Royal Navy

HMS Ocean (L12).

Royal Navy "Commando Carriers and "Amphibious Helicopter Carrier"s

United States Navy

Republic of Korea Navy

ROKS Dokdo

See also


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