USS Essex (LHD-2) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship commissioned into the United States Navy on October 17, 1992. It is the fifth ship named for Essex County, Massachusetts.
In Battlefield 2, USS Essex (LHD-2) acts as a starting base for the United States Marine Corps whenever an amphibious assault is involved, the ship normally hosting two MH-60S Knight Hawks, one or two AH-1Z Vipers, two F-35Bs and two Rigid Inflatable Boats. The types of vehicles and the number of each type varies between maps. There are 2 spawn points on Essex, one located on the flight deck with the air vehicles, and the other below deck with the RIBs.
Essex is equipped with two Phalanx CIWSes for air defense - one is located at the stern of the ship, and the other is on the 'island' (or superstructure) of the ship. The USMC team's UAV Station and Radar Station are usually located on the ship as well.
- Dalian Plant (32 & 64 player modes).
- Dragon Valley (64 player mode) (has two AH-1Zs instead of two MH-60Ses and two F-35Bs).
- Gulf of Oman (32 and 64 player modes).
- Wake Island 2007 (64 player mode) (has four RHIBs instead of the usual two, but only has one F-35 and one MH-60 instead of two).
- Zatar Wetlands (64 player mode) (has only one MH-60, no AH-1Z, and two F-35Bs).
Battlefield 2: Special Forces
USS Essex appears in Battlefield 2: Special Forces on the map Iron Gator: the level involves a Middle Eastern Coalition (MEC) raid on Essex. The interior of Essex is much bigger, allowing players to access the Hanger Bay, Engine Room and Mess Hall. F/A-18C Hornets can be found on Essex, but they cannot be interacted with in any way. 1 Phalanx CIWS was removed, as well as all aircraft on the ship, having been replaced by a sole AH-64 Apache. The number of Rigid Inflatable Boats was also increased to four (six on the 64-player version).
USS Essex acts as the starting base for the United States Marine Corps in Battlefield Play4Free on Gulf of Oman and Dalian Plant. Six Rigid Inflatable Boats, one LAV-25, two F-35s, two AH-64s, a UH-60 and two Stingers for anti-air defense. After a patch, instead of the UH-60, a third F-35 spawns on USS Essex.
USS Essex makes an appearance in multiplayer as the US deployment on naval maps. On deck, players can pilot the F/A-18E Super Hornet, A-10 Thunderbolt, AH-1Z Viper or AH-6J Little Bird. Below deck, RHIBs, an AAV-7A1 AMTRAC, and a number of LAV-25s spawn to ferry players ashore. A player can man the C-RAM, but Sea Sparrow missiles are not available.
USS Valkyrie appears in the campaign, and is identical to Essex, only differing in name.
USS Essex appears on all naval multiplayer maps in the game and plays a major role in the Naval Strike expansion. The model for the carrier is used for both the PLA and USMC in Carrier Assault. Domination and Deathmatch on Lost Islands are played on Essex.
- The level Iron Gator in Battlefield 2: Special Forces is named after the ship's nickname, "The Iron Gator".