This is a water-lined, kit-bashed version of the old Aurora model of the third Iwo Jima class helicopter landing ship, the U.S.S. Guadalcanal, which was launched in 1963 and served until its decommissioning in 1994. The 19,395 ton ship saw many modifications during its long career. This model depicts an earlier time with the first Sea Sparrow boxes but no point defense guns yet. The ship's claim to fame was its recovery of the Apollo 9 capsule, and a 1987 incident where it stopped and boarded a ship laying mines in shipping lanes of the Persian Gulf.