USS Makin Island (LHD-8), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, is the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Makin Island, target of the Marine Raiders’ Makin Island raid early on in the United States’ involvement in World War II.
The purpose/mission of Makin Island is to embark, deploy, and land elements of a Marine landing force in an Amphibious Assault by helicopters, landing craft, and amphibious vehicles. The secondary/convertible mission for Makin Island is that of sea control and power projection.
Although Makin Island is the eighth ship of the Wasp class, it will feature noteworthy technological advances. Changes from the previous LHD design include: gas turbine main propulsion engines, all-electric auxiliaries, an advanced machinery control system, water mist fire protection systems, and the Navy’s most advanced command and control and combat systems equipment. The gas turbine propulsion plant, with all electric auxiliaries, is a program first for large deck amphibious assault ships and will provide significant savings in manpower and maintenance costs associated with traditional steam-powered amphibious ships. The ship carries four reverse-osmosis water-purification systems, each holding 50,000 gallons.