18 April 2013

USS Peleliu (LHA-5) in Hong Kong

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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!

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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.

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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~

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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).

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Mk 49 Guided Missile Launching System with RIM-116 RAM. These are surface-to-air missiles for self-defense.

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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.

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The CH-53 Sea Stallions are huge; they are the size of lorries, and perform their roles just like one!

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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.

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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.

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AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopter

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CH-46 Sea Knight, a medium-lift utility helicopter.

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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:
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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! ^^


  1. Say hello to the pride of the US Navy! The British made Harrier!!

    And I thought the F35 is in production, albeit with various issues propping up which gets the entire fleet grounded. But they are building and shipping them out.

    1. I still can't believe that the UK coalition government decide to scrap the whole Harrier fleet! But there isn't much one can do when it comes down to cutting down cost.

      The F-35 did go past initial production, but are not fully ready for deployment AFAIK; they are still in testing where faults continue to pop up here and there, hence having to return to development, especially for the V/STOL type.

  2. I have to agree that the Harrier is the coolest damn plane is the Harrier due to the Vertical takeoffs.

    Some nice shots of the ship as a whole!

    1. Seeing warships in Hong Kong's harbour is always quite a sight!

      The Harrier sure is famous for its VTOL ability, more than most other planes with similar ability. A pity that UK no longer has them, but it's still good to see those from the US Navy nonetheless!

  3. I served on the Peleliu from it's Commissioning in 79 until the Fall of 1982. That makes me a Plank Owner. I am saddened to hear that she is going to be decommissioned. It is a great ship and I had many great sea stories from those days. We left the shipyards in Mississippi and cruised down to and through the Panama Canal, crossed the line (Shellback) in record time...from commissioning to Shellback in the shortest time in history. We sailed up and down the West Coast of the US, to Mazatlan, Mexico, up to Seattle, WA, out to Hawaii and back several times and on a WestPac Cruise before I left the ship. It was a wonderful time and I will never forget those days aboard the Peleliu.

    1. Hello. It's always wonderful to read from someone who served on such magnificent warships. It appears that her decommission is scheduled at the end of this month (if Wikipedia is right). Pleased to know that you had great days abroad the Peleliu.


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