18 April 2013
USS Peleliu (LHA-5) in Hong Kong
US Navy's amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA-5) arrived in Hong Kong this Monday, and was docked at the Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui for 4 days. Normally I wouldn't have had a chance to visit it as it's only staying during the weekdays, but with a stroke of luck I managed to sneak out and took a few pictures myself. It sure is a grand ship, in both size and age!
USS Peleliu is an old ship. It was commissioned in 1976 and served in many places, from wars such as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom to relief operations such as the 2010 flood in Pakistan.
Accoridng to Wikipedia, this Tarawa-class ship is scheduled to be decommissioned sometime this year or in 2014, so we may not get to see her again in the future. It is also the last ship of her class, and is to be replaced by the America-class.
The view of USS Peleliu from the rooftop of Ocean Terminal is quite grand. The deck is high enough that you get a clear view of the ship with the planes and helicopters parked~
AV-8B Harrier II jumpjets, best known for their ability to take off and land vertically (VTOL). They are to be replaced by F-35B with similar ability once development is over (which has been dragging on for quite some time).
Mk 49 Guided Missile Launching System with RIM-116 RAM. These are surface-to-air missiles for self-defense.
A SH-60 Seahawk, a variant of the well known UH-60 Black Hawk, is also stationed on the deck. It's funny how two of the Harriers are deliberately spaced further apart so that the helicopter can be viewed in full sight from here XD.
The CH-53 Sea Stallions are huge; they are the size of lorries, and perform their roles just like one!
The "island" superstructure of the ship. Lots of radars, and a large "5" to indicate that USS Peleliu is the 5th ship under "Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA)" classification.
Phalanx CIWS for self-defense against anti-ship missiles. Most of the guns are covered up that day so they can't be seen properly.
AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopter
CH-46 Sea Knight, a medium-lift utility helicopter.
Sailors stationed at the entrance. The ship is not accessible for public, but crews do go in and out for their day offs, shopping, and possibly some drinking in places like Lan Kwai Fong in Central or Lockhart Road in Wan Chai.
A few more pictures to finish it off:
I missed USS Boxer (LHD-4) when it visited Hong Kong back in 2011, and looking back at news it appears that there were a few more warships that visited Hong Kong in recent months as well, with USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) visited last month. At last I finally managed to see a warship in person in Hong Kong~ It definitely is an impressive sight! ^^
Tags: Hong Kong