Category Archives: Navy

First Firescout

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 received their first MQ-8C Firescout on September 15 aboard Naval Station Norfolk.

MQ-8C Firescout
HSC-22 Receives First MQ-8C Firescout

HSC-22 marks the first East Coast squadron to operate all three systems to include the MH-60S Knighthawk, MQ-8B Firescout, and MQ-8C Firescout. The new added capability of the MQ-8C combines the capabilities of the MQ-8B with the MH-60S Knighthawk to improve the Navy’s ability to investigate and target hostile surface contacts.

«Incorporating the MQ-8C Firescout will represent a significant improvement in our unmanned air vehicle mission capability», said Commander Matthew Wright, HSC-22’s commanding officer. «The ‘Charlie’ is bigger, faster, can carry more mission equipment, and remain airborne over twice as long as our already-proven MQ-8B’s».

MQ-8B and C Firescout variants are designed for suitably equipped ship-based and land-based autonomous systems. MQ-8B and C Firescout/MH-60S extend Naval Aviation’s capability to support distributed maritime operations providing integrated, over-the-horizon intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting, and combat logistics support.

While the majority of the flight software in the MQ-8C Firescout is similar to the MQ-8B Firescout variant, the aircrews must adapt to the new capabilities of upgraded Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to include obtaining additional qualifications required for the maintenance team.

Lieutenant Ryan Jaenke, MH-60S, MQ-8B/C pilot, discussed the advanced capabilities of the MQ-8C Firescout.

«The MQ-8C Firescout is the latest step toward increasing the duration that UAS has on the battlefield as well as the impact. It advances the reliability of UAS as well as leaves a larger impact on the battlefield in missions that are not new to today’s warfighter», said Jaenke.

HSC-22’s mission is to provide manned and unmanned maritime attack and combat support capabilities to the fleet. HSC-22’s inherent versatility provides full-spectrum warfighting support across multiple mission-sets and diverse and distributed platforms.

 

Specifications

Length 41.4 feet/12.6 m
Width 7.8 feet/2.4 m
Blades Folded Hangar 7.8×34.7×10.9 feet/2.4×10.6×3.3 m
Height 10.9 feet/3.3 m
Rotor Diameter 35 feet/10.7 m
Gross Takeoff Weight 6,000 lbs/2,721.5 kg
Engine Rolls-Royce M250-C47B with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control)

 

Performance

Speed 140 knots/161 mph/259 km/h (maximum)
Operational Ceiling 17,000 feet/5,182 m
Maximum Endurance 14 hrs
Maximum Payload (Internal) 1,000 lbs/453.6 kg
Typical Payload 600 lbs/272 kg (11 hrs endurance)
Maximum Sling Load 2,650 lbs/1,202 kg

 

Engine Specifications

Power 651 shp/485.45 kW
Pressure ratio 9.2
Length 42.95 inch/1.09 m
Diameter 24.81 inch/0.63 m
Basic weight 274 lbs/124.3 kg
Compressor 1CF (centrifugal high-pressure)
Turbine 2HP (two-stage high-pressure turbine), 2PT (two-stage power turbine)

 

Delbert D. Black

The U.S. Navy commissioned the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, September 26, 2020, in Port Canaveral, Florida.

USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119)
Navy commissioned guided missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119)

Due to public health and safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the commissioning was a private event, rather than the traditional public commissioning ceremony.

The ceremony’s principal speaker was Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russel L. Smith.

«Commissioning a ship after the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy is an honor without equal. The Navy has always been and will always be indelibly influenced by the leadership of our senior enlisted sailors epitomized by Delbert Black», said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. «They are the ones who teach both our junior enlisted as well as our junior officers what it means to lead. They lay the keel by which the Navy operates and as such this ship named for one of the most influential master chiefs ever to wear three stars will be a visible reminder of their importance to our Navy. As MCPON, Master Chief Black fought for increased sea-pay, family support programs, expanded uniform guidance and a host of other issues that improved the quality of life of not only junior enlisted, but all sailors and officers. By making life better for sailors, he made our Navy stronger for us all. This ship will undoubtedly continue on his great legacy of service above self».

USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) is named for the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy, the highest possible enlisted rank and the enlisted representative to the Chief of Naval Operations. Established by the Navy in 1967, Black oversaw the establishment of the senior enlisted advisor position, which eventually became known as Command Master Chief. Black was the first Navy enlisted man to receive the Distinguished Service Medal. Upon retirement from active duty, Black continued his involvement with the Navy through retired and active duty organizations. He still serves as an enduring example for the Chief’s Mess, with his service, character and performance demonstrating the highest ideals of a Navy chief petty officer in the world’s finest Navy.

Mrs. Ima Black, MCPON Delbert D. Black’s widow and a former sailor, served as the ship’s sponsor. Mrs. Black served during World War II in the Navy WAVES – Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. During the time-honored ceremony, Mrs. Black gave the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life».

Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) is the 68th Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer to be delivered to the U.S. Navy and the first to bear his name. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet. These highly capable, multi-mission ships conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security.

Following commissioning, USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) will be homeported in Mayport, Florida, with sister ships USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), USS Lassen (DDG-82), USS Farragut (DDG-99), USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) and USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117).

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar (Lockheed Martin)/AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYERS LINEUP

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-23-17 12-01-18 Mayport, Florida
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16 07-27-19 Mayport, Florida
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW 10-27-19 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17 09-26-20 Mayport, Florida
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS 01-27-20
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW
DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher GDBIW

 

OPV «Musherib»

The technical launch of the first-in-class patrol vessel (OPV – Offshore Patrol Vessel) «Musherib», ordered to Fincantieri by the Qatari Ministry of Defence within the national naval acquisition program, took place today at the Muggiano (La Spezia) yard, at the presence of the Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini, of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Qatar Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, of the Chief of Staff of the Qatari Emiri Navy Major General Abdulla Hassan Al Suleiti, and of the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, welcomed by the Chairman and CEO of Fincantieri, Giampiero Massolo and Giuseppe Bono. The launch, held privately and in full compliance with the current health regulations, followed the first steel cutting of the vessel «Sumaysimah», fourth corvette of the same program.

Musherib
Fincantieri launches the first patrol vessel for Qatar

The «Musherib» OPV vessel, to be delivered in 2022 and whose design is consistent with the RINAMIL for Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) rules, will be a flexible type of ship capable of performing several services, from surveillance to combat functions. It is about 63 meters/206.7 feet long, 9.2 meters/30.2 feet wide, with a maximum speed of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h and it will accommodate as many as 38 of crew members. The propulsion system has four variable pitch propellers, two to starboard and two to the left, each in line with a diesel propulsion engine. Furthermore, the vessel will be capable of operating a RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) through a crane located at the stern.

The contract, worth for Fincantieri nearly 4 billion euros, envisages the supply of seven surface vessels, including four corvettes, one amphibious vessel (LPD – Landing Platform Dock), and two patrol vessels (OPV – Offshore Patrol Vessel) as well as support services in Qatar for further 10 years after the delivery of the vessels. All the units are entirely built in the Group’s Italian shipyards, ensuring continuity to the activities until 2024 as well as guaranteeing an important impact on the main Italian defense companies.

Navy patrol ship

The fifth and final new Royal Navy patrol ship – at the vanguard of the UK’s renewed global aspirations – is at sea for the first time.

HMS Spey (P234)
HMS Spey (P234) sailing from Scotstoun

HMS Spey (P234) has sailed from BAE Systems’ yard at Scotstoun on the Clyde to begin Contractor Sea Trials.

A mix of Royal Navy sailors, BAE employees, contractors, inspections authorities and civilian sailors are crewing the 2,000-tonne warship for the key tests and assessments off the west coast of Scotland.

The sea trials are a significant milestone in Spey’s short life to date and are designed to thoroughly test the capability and integrity of the vessel.

Her systems will be tested to the max and will include live firing of her weaponry (including her main 30-mm gun), pushing the ship’s engines to their full power and testing her top speeds before the ship returns to Scotstoun.

Her maiden voyage comes just weeks after the first sailors of her ship’s company moved on board and ahead of her journey to Portsmouth later this year when she will officially join the Royal Navy fleet.

HMS Spey (P234) is last of five new River-class ships and will join her older sisters HMS Forth (P222), HMS Medway (P223), HMS Trent (P224) and HMS Tamar, all of which are now operational.

When trials and training are complete next year, HMS Spey (P234) will operate as part of the navy’s Forward Presence programme, stationed around the world for several years at a time, with the ship’s company changing on a regular basis.

Spearfish

The world’s most advanced torpedo is on the cusp of entering service with the Royal Navy after extensive trials in Scotland.

Spearfish
Navy’s new torpedo on cusp of front-line service after trials in Scotland

The upgraded Spearfish – the principal weapon of the UK’s Submarine Flotilla against enemy ships and submarines – was ‘fired’ repeatedly at frigate HMS Sutherland (F81) as scientists, engineers and sailors study its performance.

Over four days on special ranges near the Kyle of Lochalsh, the improved weapon was put through its paces, testing both software and hardware enhancements – while the Plymouth-based frigate did its utmost to fend off the torpedo’s attacks.

Spearfish has been the Silent Service’s weapon of choice since the early 1990s, though it has never been fired in anger.

The warhead is a good six times more powerful than that carried by the smaller Sting Ray torpedo, fired by ships like Sutherland or launched from Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

It can break the back of frigates, destroyers and similar-sized warships, and take out any underwater threats.

The Royal Navy is investing £270 m in upgrading Spearfish, fitting a new warhead, new, safer fuel system, an enhanced electronic ‘brain’ and a new fibre-optic guidance link with its parent submarine to improve its accuracy and lethality.

A team of around 100 engineers and experts from BAE Systems in Portsmouth have spent nearly six years working on the improved torpedo, which will be introduced to front-line hunter-killer and nuclear-deterrent submarines over the next three years – and in service into the 2050s.

The latest trials are the fourth involving Sutherland – which is purpose-built to hunt down hostile submarines – to help introduce the new Spearfish into service.

For the latest workout at the British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre (BUTEC) – a stretch of water between Skye and the Scottish mainland which is ten kilometres/6.2 miles long, six/3.7 wide, up to 200 metres/656 feet deep and peppered with state-of-the-art sensors – the frigate was assessed to see if she could defeat the new-look Spearfish, using a mix of evasive manoeuvres to evade the torpedo and advanced acoustic counter-measures to lure it away from Sutherland.

Anyone expecting tell-tale submarine wakes streaking through the waters was disappointed as Spearfish was set to ‘run deep’ for safety reasons – so the ‘battle’ was played out on the displays in Sutherland’s operations room, where the shrill sound of whistles announced a torpedo in the water.

«During the trial this week we have put our elite training into action, using a variety of underwater sensors to locate and track the weapon», said 23-year-old Able Seaman Matthew Brown from Perth, one of the underwater warfare specialists who’s been tracking Spearfish. «Having one of the most advanced and capable torpedoes in the world fired at you certainly puts the pressure on».

Weapon Engineer Officer Lieutenant Commander David Tinsley added: «This is not the first time Sutherland has contributed to Spearfish trials, and we’re glad to be supporting a small part of a larger Defence programme which will deliver a world class weapon into Service. A range of military and industrial partners have come together to deliver an efficient trial which in due course will deliver another exciting capability for the Royal Navy».

Following the torpedo trials, Sutherland moved on to join the Americans, Norwegians and Danes on exercise in the Arctic.

A final trial of Spearfish will take place at BUTEC later in 2020 before the weapon is declared operational and begins being delivered to the submarine fleet.

Builder’s Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division announced on September 14, 2020 the successful completion of builder’s sea trials for the U.S. Coast Guard’s newest National Security Cutter (NSC), USCGC Stone (WMSL-758). The ship spent three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing propulsion and auxiliary equipment, as well as various shipboard systems.

National security cutter
National security cutter, USCGC Stone (WMSL-758), spent three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing propulsion and auxiliary equipment, as well as various shipboard systems (Photo by Lance Davis/Huntington Ingalls Industries)

«Every successful sea trial is a major accomplishment for our shipbuilders, but this set proved to be a particularly substantial undertaking», said Jay Boyd, Ingalls’ NSC program manager. «Since the year began, our team has persevered through every challenge. Learning through each obstacle presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSC team has worked tirelessly to ensure the Coast Guard receives another high performance cutter to help protect our nation».

In the weeks preceding NSC-9 builder’s trials, safety precautions were put in place to minimize the potential risk of COVID-19 to participants while at sea. The number of shipboard riders was reduced by one-third to allow for adequate social distancing. Those allowed onboard were tested for COVID-19 one week prior to sail, and were screened the morning of departure. Masks were required at all times, food services were staggered, and in addition to the cutter’s regular cleaning regimen, each individual received their own personal supplies to clean their way in and out of spaces onboard the ship.

Ingalls has delivered eight Legend-class NSCs with two more under construction, and one additional under contract. USCGC Stone (WMSL-758), the ninth NSC, is scheduled for delivery later this year.

NSC-9 was named to honor Coast Guard officer Commander Elmer «Archie» Fowler Stone, Coast Guard aviator number one, who made history in 1919 for being one of two Coast Guard pilots in the four man air crew who completed the first transatlantic flight in a Navy seaplane.

The Legend-class NSC is the largest, most technologically advanced ship in the Coast Guard’s fleet, which enables it to meet the high demands required for maritime and homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs are 418 feet/127 meters long with a top speed of 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h, a range of 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division supports national security missions around the globe with unmanned systems, defense and federal solutions, and nuclear and environmental services. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 42,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

 

Facts

Displacement 4,500 long tons
Length 418 feet/127 m
Beam 54 feet/16 m
Speed 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km
Endurance 60 days
Crew 120
Equipped with Mk-110 57-mm turret mounted gun
6 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber machine guns
3D air search radar
2 level 1, class 1 aircraft hangers
A stern launch ramp for mission boats
Aviation carried (2) MCH, or (4) Vertical-Launch Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (VUAV) or (1) MCH and (2) VUAV
Stern launch Two cutter boats (Long Range Interceptor and/or Short Range Prosecutor)
Electronic Warfare and Decoys AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System, Two Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasures (SRBOC)/2 NULKA countermeasures chaff rapid decoy launcher
Communications HF, VHF & UHF
Sensors and Processing Systems X and S band radar, 3D air search radar, AN/SPQ-9 radar, Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF)

 

Ship list

Ship Hull Number Laid down Launched Commissioned
Bertholf WMSL-750 03-29-2005 09-29-2006 08-04-2008
Waesche WMSL-751 09-11-2006 07-12-2008 05-07-2010
Stratton WMSL-752 07-20-2009 07-23-2010 03-31-2012
Hamilton WMSL-753 09-05-2012 08-10-2013 12-06-2014
James WMSL-754 05-17-2013 05-03-2014 08-08-2015
Munro WMSL-755 10-07-2013 09-12-2015 04-01-2017
Kimball WMSL-756 03-04-2016 12-17-2016 08-24-2019
Midgett WMSL-757 01-27-2017 11-22-2017 08-24-2019
Stone WMSL-758 09-14-2018 10-04-2019
Calhoun WMSL-759
Friedman WMSL-760

 

USCG national security cutter Stone on builder’s sea trials

4,000 aircraft recoveries

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) logged its 4,000th aircraft launch and recovery on September 10, showcasing the performance capabilities of the ship’s Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), as part of the aircraft carrier’s 18-month Post Delivery Test & Trials (PDT&T) period.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) logged its 4,000th trap (arrested landing) September 10 with Training Air Wing (TAW) 1 during carrier qualifications

Captain Kenneth Sterbenz, Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) program manager (PMA-251) for EMALS and AAG, noted the milestone is a significant achievement for both the ALRE program and the Ford crew.

«EMALS and AAG are consistently performing as expected and standing up to the rigorous testing of PDT&T operations», said Sterbenz. «Reaching 4,000 launches and recoveries is not only an important performance datapoint, but it also represents years of technological development and the dedication, professionalism, and successful work put forth by the ALRE team and CVN-78».

Ford’s EMALS and AAG systems are now more than halfway through the carrier’s test and evaluation period, and the ship’s force remains on track to complete all required assessments and critical system milestones in preparation for CVN-78 to formally enter the fleet.

Shannon Coulter, PMA-251 assistant program manager for Systems Engineering, has been aboard Ford for every fixed-wing launch and recovery, including the first aircraft launch and recovery in 2017.

«It’s been incredibly rewarding for the team to watch AAG and EMALS mature over the past nine months, as Ford’s crew gains significant experience and increased confidence with maintenance and operations», said Coulter. «The NAVAIR and General Atomics programmatic, engineering, maintenance, and logistics team has done an absolutely outstanding job of supporting CVN-78 over the past 4,000 EMALS and AAG launches and recoveries, and we look forward to strong system performance throughout the remaining PDT&T events».

The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft launch and recovery technology was designed for use aboard Ford-class aircraft carriers, beginning with USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). Land-based test sites, located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, enable test, troubleshooting and Sailor training. Managed by the Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Program Office (PMA-251) and developed by prime contractor General Atomics, EMALS and AAG provide significant technological advancements to the U.S. Navy’s Ford-class aircraft carriers, requiring a smaller footprint aboard the ship, less maintenance, and less manpower than comparable steam catapults and arresting gear aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68)-class carriers.

Christening of Montana

In its first ceremony celebrating the U.S. Navy’s newest fast-attack submarine in front of a virtual audience, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) christened pre-commissioning unit Montana (SSN-794) on September 12, 2020 at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.

USS Montana (SSN-794)
With one solid swing, the ship’s sponsor, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell christened the Virginia-class submarine USS Montana (SSN-794) as (from left) the ship’s commanding officer Captain Michael Delaney and Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin look on (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions on the size of public gatherings, the christening ceremony was hosted virtually at Newport News’ Module Outfitting Facility.

«Yes, we are disappointed we couldn’t host the normal pomp and circumstance today, and that our shipbuilders and their families couldn’t be here in person to witness history. But as shipbuilders, we know the show must go on», said Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding. «Our work doesn’t stop for a pandemic, just as the Navy’s mission never ends. It is our honor, our duty and our calling to keep the wheels of shipbuilding turning, and in doing so, bring Montana one step closer to her ultimate mission of defending the United States of America».

Boykin also applauded the work and craftsmanship of more than 10,000 shipbuilders from Newport News and its partner, General Dynamics Electric Boat who continue to assemble Montana. She also acknowledged the support of the supplier base – more than 5,000 companies in all 50 states – that provided parts and materials critical to Montana’s construction.

Former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor, smashed a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to mark the christening of the submarine that honors the state of Montana.

«I am grateful to the shipbuilders and dedicated Navy officers and crew for building and readying Montana for service to our nation and the world», Jewell said. «It is a privilege to bless and christen this incredible submarine, and to join the current and future submariners as their shipmates for life».

The virtual event included pre-taped segments where maid of honor Mariah Gladstone, of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, recited a Native American blessing and members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, of Flathead Indian Reservation, performed a traditional Native American honor song. Representative Robert C. Scott, of Virginia; members of the Montana congressional delegation including Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, as well as Representative Greg Gianforte; and General Dynamics Electric Boat President Kevin Graney also offered pre-recorded remarks celebrating the ship’s milestone.

Vice Admiral Richard P. Snyder, the U.S. Navy’s inspector general, also was in attendance.

In his keynote address, Acting Undersecretary of the Navy Gregory J. Slavonic said: «Montana will enhance our fleet with next generation stealth, surveillance and special warfare capabilities. This powerful platform is proof of an ironclad relationship between the U.S. Navy and industrial partners who form the backbone of our maritime strength. While this submarine has the capacity to project power on the surface and undersea, it’s important to recognize the people in every stage of bringing this ship to life because our people make a difference. Montana is proof of what teamwork of all the people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together».

PCU Montana is the second U.S. Navy warship bearing the state’s name. The first USS Montana (ACR-13) was an armored cruiser built at Newport News Shipbuilding and launched in 1906. During the ceremony, a replica of the bell that sailed on the first Montana was rung. The bell will be formally presented to the crew at the ship’s commissioning, and will be part of the submarine for its entire service life.

«Today is an exciting day for the Navy and the crew as our sponsor christened the Navy’s newest Virginia-class submarine, the Montana», said Captain Mike Delaney, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit. «While the coronavirus precluded most of the crew’s participation in this ceremony, it in no way diminishes the great accomplishment. I couldn’t be prouder of the way the crew of Montana alongside our shipbuilding partners have adapted to the new normal and focused on responsibly living up to our mission. This is not all too surprising given the innate resiliency and toughness I’ve seen my whole career in the submarine force. This submarine, like all the individuals who have contributed to getting it to this major milestone, will stand as a reflection of strength through adversity».

Three of Montana’s crew members hail from the state of Montana.

Construction of Montana began in 2015 under a teaming agreement with Electric Boat. The submarine achieved pressure hull complete earlier this year, and is about 85% complete. USS Montana (SSN-794) is scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Navy in late 2021.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division supports national security missions around the globe with unmanned systems, defense and federal solutions, and nuclear and environmental services. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs more than 42,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

USS Montana (SSN-794)
The christening ceremony of submarine USS Montana (SSN-794) took place at Newport News Shipbuilding division’s Modular Outfitting Facility in front of a virtual audience on September 12, 2020 (Photo by Ariel Florendo/HII)

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB 10-20-18 04-18-20 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-793 Oregon EB 10-05-19
SSN-794 Montana NNS 09-12-20
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB Under Construction
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS Under Construction
SSN-797 Iowa EB Under Construction
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS Under Construction
SSN-799 Idaho EB Under Construction
SSN-800 Arkansas NNS Under Construction
SSN-801 Utah EB Under Construction

 

Montana Christening Ceremony

Delbert D. Black

Destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) departed from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division on September 04, 2020, sailing to its homeport in Mayport, Florida.

Destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) sails away from Ingalls Shipbuilding to the ship’s homeport in Mayport, Florida (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«Our shipbuilders have done an excellent job throughout the construction of Delbert D. Black preparing the new Aegis destroyer to join the Navy’s fleet», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. «Today we celebrate the continued monumental achievements of our shipbuilders with great pride, and we look forward to continuing to build state-of-the-art Navy destroyers for years to come».

Ingalls has delivered 32 destroyers to the Navy and currently has four more under construction including USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121), USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123), USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) and USS Ted Stevens (DDG-128). In June, Ingalls was awarded a $936 million contract for the construction of an additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States military strategy. Guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar (Lockheed Martin)/AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYERS LINEUP

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-23-17 12-01-18 Mayport, Florida
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16 07-27-19 Mayport, Florida
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW 10-27-19 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17 Mayport, Florida
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS 01-27-20
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW
DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher GDBIW

 

Fast Transport

USNS Newport is the 12th Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship to be delivered to the United States Navy – and brings the total number of ships delivered to the Navy by Austal USA to 24 in ten years, including three this year.

USNS Newport (EPF-12) was constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama (Image: Austal)

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the delivery of EPF 12 by Austal USA further strengthens the status of its Mobile, Alabama shipyard as an industry-leading facility.

«Austal USA has now delivered 24 ships to the US Navy, in just over ten years, including three in this year alone. This is a remarkable achievement and testament to the productivity and efficiency of the shipyard, which is now expanding to enable the shipbuilding and support of steel vessels», Mr. Singleton said. «The ongoing, successful delivery of both the Spearhead-class EPF and Independence-class LCS shipbuilding programs has positioned the Austal USA shipyard to pursue new aluminium and steel shipbuilding opportunities in the future».

The Spearhead-class EPF is a 103-metre high-speed aluminium catamaran with a large, 1800 square meter cargo deck, medium-lift helicopter deck and seating for 300+ embarked troops; providing a fast, high-payload transport capability to combatant commanders around the world.

The Austal-designed EPFs support a wide range of missions – from maritime security operations to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. An EPF’s flexibility also allows it to support potential future missions; such as special operations, command and control, and primary medical operations.

One additional Spearhead-class EPF is under construction at Austal USA’s shipyard; the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF-13), while the future USNS Cody (EPF-14) is scheduled to commence construction before the end of the year.

In addition to the EPF program, Austal USA is contracted to deliver 19 Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the U.S. Navy. Twelve Independence-class LCSs have been delivered, with an additional five ships in various stages of construction and two contracted but yet to start.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Material Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 103 m/337.9 feet
Beam overall 28.5 m/93.5 feet
Hull draft (maximum) 3.83 m/12.57 feet
MISSION BAY
Area (with tie-downs) 1,863 m2/20,053 feet2
Clear Height 4.75 m/15.6 feet
Turning diameter 26.2 m/86.0 feet
ISO TEU (Twenty Equivalent Units) Stations 6 Interface Panels
ACCOMMODATIONS
Crew 41
Single SR 2
Double SR 6
Quad SR 7
Troop Seats 312
Troop Berths Permanent: 104
Temporary: 46
Galley and Messing 48
PROPULSION
Main Engines 4 × MTU 20V8000 M71L Diesel Engines 4 × 9.1 MW
Gear boxes 4 × ZF 60000NR2H Reduction Gears
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila WLD 1400 SR
PERFORMANCE
Average Speed 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h @ 90% MCR with 635 mt (700 st) payload
Maximum Speed 43 knots/50 mph/80 km/h without payload
Maximum Transit Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km
Self-Deployment Range 5,600 NM/6,444 miles/10,371 km
Survival Through SS-7
AVIATION FACILITIES
NAVAIR Level 1 Class 2 Certified Flight Deck for one helicopter
Centreline parking area for one helicopter
NAVAIR Level 1 class 4 Type 2 Certified VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment)
Helicopter Control Station
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS
Active Ride Control Transcom Interceptors
Foils: 3.24 m2/34.9 feet2 each, forward on inboard sides of demi-hulls
Vehicle Ramp Articulated Slewing Stern Ramp
Straight aft to 45 Starboard
Telescoping Boom Crane 12.3 mt @ 15 m, 18.2 mt @ 10 m/13.6 Lt @ 49.2 feet, 20.1 Lt @ 32.8 feet

 

Ships

USNS Spearhead (EPF-1), Delivered

USNS Choctaw County (EPF-2), Delivered

USNS Millinocket (EPF-3), Delivered

USNS Fall River (EPF-4), Delivered

USNS Trenton (EPF-5), Delivered

USNS Brunswick (EPF-6), Delivered

USNS Carson City (EPF-7), Delivered

USNS Yuma (EPF-8), Delivered

USNS City of Bismark (EPF-9), Delivered

USNS Burlington (EPF-10), Delivered

USNS Puerto Rico (EPF-11), Delivered

USNS Newport (EPF-12), Delivered

USNS Apalachicola (EPF-13), Under construction

USNS Cody (EPF-14), Planned