Category Archives: Navy

Keel Laid on Bougainville

The keel of the America-class amphibious warship USS Bougainville (LHA-8) was authenticated during a ceremony at Ingalls Shipbuilding on Thursday, March 14. Ship’s sponsor Ellyn Dunford declared the keel «truly and fairly laid» after her initials were welded onto a plate.

Official Keel Plate for Bougainville (LHA-8)
Official Keel Plate for Bougainville (LHA-8)

 

Bougainville and the America class

Bougainville will retain the aviation capability of the America-class design while adding the surface assault capability of a well deck. The well deck will give the U.S. Marine Corps the ability to house and launch two Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) hovercraft or one Landing Craft Utility (LCU) as needed during their maritime missions. Other additions to Bougainville include a larger flight deck configured for Joint Strike Fighter and Osprey V-22 aircraft, which can be used for surface and aviation assaults. The additional area on the flight deck comes in part from a smaller deck house and an additional sponson.

 

Namesake background

USS Bougainville (LHA-8) will be the second U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name Bougainville. The name commemorates the Bougainville Campaign that took place during World War II. During the campaign, which lasted from 1943 to 1944, Allied forces secured a strategic airfield from Japan in the northern Solomon Islands, helping the allies break the Japanese stronghold in the South Pacific.

 

Ingalls amphibious shipbuilding background

Ingalls is currently the sole builder of large-deck amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy. The shipyard delivered its first amphibious assault ship, the Iwo Jima-class USS Tripoli (LPH-10), in 1966. Ingalls has since built five Tarawa-class (LHA-1) ships, eight Wasp-class (LHD-1) ships and the first in a new class of ships, USS America (LHA-6). The second ship in the class, USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is currently under construction and USS Bougainville (LHA-8) is the third ship in the class.

 

Sponsor

Ellyn Dunford, spouse of General Joe Dunford, 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the sponsor of Bougainville. A graduate of Simmons College, Mrs. Dunford worked as a physical therapist for close to 30 years. General and Mrs. Dunford have three children.

 

LHA Facts and Stats

With a typical air combat element embarked, an LHA amphibious assault ship can be equipped with:

  • 5 F-35B Joint Strike Fighters;
  • 4 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters;
  • 2 UH-1Y Venom attack helicopters;
  • 4 CH-53E Super Sea Stallion helicopters;
  • 12 MV-22 Osprey;
  • 2 MH-60S Search and Rescue helicopters;
  • Defensive weapons systems include .50 caliber/12.7-mm machine guns, The Phalanx, Sea Sparrow and Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) anti-ship cruise missile weapon systems and decoy launchers.

 

LHA-8 Milestones

Started Construction: October 6, 2018

Keel Authenticated: March 14, 2019

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS America (LHA-6) 07-17-2009 06-04-2012 10-11-2014 San Diego, California
USS Tripoli (LHA-7) 06-22-2014 05-01-2017
USS Bougainville (LHA-8) 03-14-2019

 

Training Center

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Distributed Training Center (DTC) recently hosted simulated training for the U.S. Marine Corps at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia.

An ANGLICO team operates from a rooftop during the Iraq War (Photo credit: USMC Corporal Rocco DeFilippis Courtesy: United States Marine Corps)
An ANGLICO team operates from a rooftop during the Iraq War (Photo credit: USMC Corporal Rocco DeFilippis Courtesy: United States Marine Corps)

During two training events, eight F-15E aircrew based at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho trained with four Marines from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state via the DTC. The Marines, trained as Joint Tactical Air Controller/Joint Forward Observers (JTAC/JFO), are part of the 6th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) tasked with calling-in air strikes and artillery fire in support of their attached formation. ANGLICO JTACs support Special Operations Forces and typically deploy to the battlefield in small teams.

Each mission scenario was designed, created and supported by Northrop Grumman DTC engineers based on mission demands. The multi-service Close Air Support (CAS) training closely replicated scenarios in current battle zones where warfighters are deployed, while at the same time providing virtual and constructive training at a fraction of the cost of live training.

«The Marines were impressed with the high fidelity training and said the customized scenarios felt like real life», said Martin Amen, director, secure network operations, Northrop Grumman.

The simulation training event met the following desired learning objectives provided by the participants:

  • (JTAC) Joint CAS environment – more than one service involved;
  • (JTAC) Integrated air and surface fires;
  • (JTAC) Deconflict multiple air assets – training included four virtual F-15Es and one constructive MQ-9 Reaper;
  • (F-15E) 25 mph+ moving target – fighter tracks and engages a target going more than 25 mph;
  • (F-15E) Hot gun to target artillery deconfliction – ensuring aircraft flight paths are not in conflict with the flight path of artillery rounds being fired at targets in the same vicinity;
  • (F15E) Squirters from a strike – track and target enemy fighters who survive the initial strike;
  • (F-15E) Bomb-on-coordinate targets utilizing different weapons – using varying classes of GPS-aided bombs to hit the right targets;
  • (F15E) CAS stack deconfliction – airspace management with the added value of matching aircraft to targets.

The DTC has provided live, virtual and constructive training for the U.S. Air Force for nine years, but this was the first time Marines used the DTC to train for their missions. Last year, the Army Rangers utilized the DTC for the first time to train for deployment.

Developed for Air Force simulation training in 1999, Northrop Grumman’s Distributed Mission Operations Network (DMON) provides the connectivity and network interoperability for the DTC, which became operational in 2010 to meet the need for real-world scenario development and advanced warfighter readiness training. Northrop Grumman wants to expand the use of the DMON and DTC beyond the Air Force to additional services such as the Marine Corps, the U.S. Army and international forces.

Charleston Commissioned

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the USS Charleston (LCS-18), during a 10 a.m. ceremony Saturday, March 2, at Columbus Street Terminal in Charleston, South Carolina.

Navy commissioned Littoral Combat Ship Charleston
Navy commissioned Littoral Combat Ship Charleston

U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Charlotte Riley, wife of former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, is the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Riley gives the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

«The future USS Charleston is proof of what the teamwork of all of our people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «This ship will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world, from maintaining the sea lanes to countering instability to maintaining our edge against renewed great power competition».

The name Charleston has a long and storied history in the U.S. Navy. The first Navy ship to bear the name Charleston was a row galley that defended the coast of South Carolina during the Quasi-War with France. The second Charleston (C-2) was a protected cruiser that received the surrender of Guam during the Spanish-American War. The third Charleston (C-22) was a St. Louis-class protected cruiser that performed escort and troop transport duties in World War I. The next Charleston (PG-51) was an Erie-class patrol gunboat that earned the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one battle star for her service in the northern Pacific during World War II. The fifth Charleston (AKA-113/LKA-113) was an amphibious cargo ship that served during the Vietnam War.

The USS Charleston (LCS-18) is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The ship will be homeported in San Diego, California.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin, Marinette, Wis., (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018
USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Canberra (LCS-30)
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Mission-capable ship

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) to the U.S. Navy with shipbuilders, ship’s force and representatives of Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast in attendance.

Huntington Ingalls Industries Delivers Guided Missile Destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) to U.S. Navy
Huntington Ingalls Industries Delivers Guided Missile Destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) to U.S. Navy

The signing of the DD 250 document officially transfers custody of the ship from HII to the U.S. Navy. USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) is scheduled to sail away from the shipyard in June.

«This event is the culmination of hard work and dedication by thousands of shipbuilders, industry partners from nearly every state, as well as our Navy SUPSHIP Gulf Coast shipmates who worked with us each and every day to ensure DDG-117 became a mission-capable ship», said George Nungesser, Ingalls’ DDG program manager. «Today, we deliver DDG-117 to the U.S. Navy – our 31st time to do this with an Aegis destroyer and well over our 80th time to deliver a Navy surface combatant on the banks of the Pascagoula River. It’s an honor to be a part of this great tradition».

DDG-117 is named in honor of Paul Ignatius, who served as the 59th Secretary of the U.S. Navy, from 1967 to 1969. He made significant contributions during the administrations of presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Ignatius is a living namesake and currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Ingalls has now delivered 31 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. The shipyard currently has four DDGs under construction, including USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), the first Flight III ship, which started fabrication in May 2018.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are 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. The 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.

(Left to right) Commander Robby Trotter, Commander Scott Williams and Donny Dorsey sign the delivery document officially handing ownership of the destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) from Ingalls Shipbuilding to the U.S. Navy. Trotter is the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Williams is the DDG-51 program management representative for Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast; and Dorsey is Ingalls’ DDG-117 ship program manager (Photo by Derek Fountain/HII)
(Left to right) Commander Robby Trotter, Commander Scott Williams and Donny Dorsey sign the delivery document officially handing ownership of the destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) from Ingalls Shipbuilding to the U.S. Navy. Trotter is the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Williams is the DDG-51 program management representative for Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast; and Dorsey is Ingalls’ DDG-117 ship program manager (Photo by Derek Fountain/HII)

 

Ship 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 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
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17
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
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW

 

Fifth in a class

Fifth in a class of eight ships, the multi-mission frigate (FREMM) FNS Bretagne (D655) has just been admitted to active service by the Chief of the Naval Staff (CEMM), Admiral Christophe Prazuck, the French Navy Chief of Staff. This decision marks the integration of this ultra-modern ship into the operational cycle.

The French Navy has already put four FREMM frigates into active service, and FNS Bretagne (D655) is now the fifth; three more will follow, two of them in a new, air-defense version
The French Navy has already put four FREMM frigates into active service, and FNS Bretagne (D655) is now the fifth; three more will follow, two of them in a new, air-defense version

Built in Lorient, FNS Bretagne (D655) carried out her first sea trials before sailing to Brest, her home port, on May 14, 2018. She was officially handed over on July 18.

On August 30, FNS Bretagne (D655) left Brest to begin its Long-Term Deployment (LTP). This is the first mission of a new warship which, deployed for several months, is tested in extreme conditions in order to face its future missions. During this deployment, FNS Bretagne (D655) took part in many exercises with Allied navies: anti-submarine exercises off the United States coast and participation in the NATO exercise Trident Juncture off the coast of Norway are just two examples.

After three months of navigation in the North Atlantic, FNS Bretagne (D655) returned to her home-port in Brest at the end of 2018. Today admitted to active service, she joins the Navy’s surface fleet and is preparing to begin full-scale operations. FNS Bretagne (D655) is the second FREMM of the Western fleet, after her sister-ship FNS Aquitaine (D650).

In 2030, the Navy will have fifteen first-rate frigates including 8 FREMM, 2 FDA and 5 FDI. FREMM Bretagne is the fifth in a series of eight, after FNS Aquitaine (D650), FNS Provence (D652), FNS Languedoc (D653) and FNS Auvergne (D654). She will be followed, between 2019 and 2023, by FNS Normandy (D651), FNS Alsace (D656) and FNS Lorraine (D657).

The last two FREMMs will have enhanced air defense capabilities and will be known as FREMM DA, for Défense-Aérienne.

New generation stealth ships, versatile, enduring and flexible, equipped with advanced automatisms and a crew with optimized manpower, the FREMM are intended for missions including the security of the oceanic strategic force; in-depth precision land strike with naval cruise missile (MdCN); anti-ship, anti-submarine and anti-aircraft combat; the projection of commandos; the protection and escort of a naval air force, or general naval missions.

 

Characteristics

Total length 466 feet/142 m
Width 65.6 feet/20 m
Displacement 6,000 tonnes
Maximum speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Operation 108 persons (including helicopter detachment)
Accommodation capacity 145 men and women
Cruising range at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h 6,000 nautical miles/6,905 miles/11,112 km

 

Spanish submarine

Navantia, the Spanish shipyard, in its bid for the Walrus Replacement Program is proposing an adaptation to Dutch requirements and local content of the Spanish Navy S80 Plus submarine. With a modern design and a similar size to Walrus-class of about 3,000 tons, the reference design is already fully compliant with Dutch requirements including growth potential.

Navantia proposes an advanced solution for The Netherlands submarine program
Navantia proposes an advanced solution for The Netherlands submarine program

The expeditionary S-80 design is fully funded and already in production, therefore the minimal technical, schedule and financial risks provide an advantage comparing with completely new solutions. The modern design and the new yard infrastructure with a highly automated construction will lead to a solution offering substantial savings respect to any competing offer.

Navantia’s proposal is the only one offering its parent Navy solution, providing the possibility of a common fleet of eight expeditionary submarines offers sharing resources and co-operation in the fields of training, logistics support and operations, a unique joint capability within NATO. Past co-operation between the two countries with the Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment and Landing Platform Dock programs has proven to be very successful.

Navantia, through the S80 program, already has strong relationships with many Dutch naval suppliers and Dutch naval knowledge partners and during the biding process has identified numerous additional parties that will be included in the final solution. There is a clear commitment to work with Dutch naval industry and technology base to ensure full involvement and retention of Dutch submarine capabilities for the entire life cycle of the submarines.

Navantia has no exclusive teaming relations and can therefore consider sharing the construction with Damen at a later stage.

Including the evolved S-80 on the shortlist offers the best and most cost-effective solution, as well as being the benchmark for all new designs.

First Type 218SG

One of the most advanced diesel-electric submarines in the world was launched on 18 February at the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ shipyard in Kiel. The boat is named Invincible. This marks another important milestone in the ongoing submarine program for the Republic of Singapore. Professor Ivy Ng, wife of Doctor Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence of the Republic of Singapore, named the boat in the presence of high-level representatives from the Singapore government and Navy, as well as high-ranking German officials. In addition to representatives from ThyssenKrupp, there were also representatives from suppliers in attendance for the ceremony. After construction and outfitting is completed, Invincible will undergo intensive testing before being handed over in 2021.

Launching of the Republic of Singapore’s First Type 218SG Submarine
Launching of the Republic of Singapore’s First Type 218SG Submarine

Doctor Ng Eng Hen, Minister of Defence for the Republic of Singapore: «These new submarines are the products of years of experience and deep expertise from both Germany and Singapore. They are a testament to our warm and growing defence ties with Germany. Closely collaborating with our Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) oversaw the design of the submarines, before jointly developing them with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. I am heartened by the cooperation and efforts of the Singaporean and German industries».

Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «We are proud to be able to take this important step in the life of a boat together with our Singaporean partners. This first boat of the Type 218SG will mark a next generation of submarines. They will possess an extensive range of vital capabilities and therewith become a highly capable strategic asset for Singapore and its Navy».

Invincible is the first in a series of four boats of the Type 218SG. The contract for the first two submarines was signed in 2013 and the contract for the second batch in 2017. After handing over the Invincible in 2021, the second submarine is scheduled to be delivered in 2022. The third and fourth submarines are scheduled to follow from 2024 onwards.

The boats have the design of a low-signature submarine with air independent propulsion – enabling them to stay submerged for a longer period – and numerous tailor-made solutions and new technologies.

DSTA and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems dive into additive manufacturing for submarines Prior to the launch of the Republic of Singapore Navy’s first Invincible-class submarine, Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Kiel to collaborate on new technologies such as additive manufacturing and data analytics for naval applications. Under the agreement, DSTA and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will explore the use of additive manufacturing as an innovative, cost-effective method for producing submarine spare parts. Both parties will work together on the design, engineering, and qualification of additive manufactured components, which could be tested and trialled on Singapore submarines.

Mr. Tan Peng Yam, Chief Executive of DSTA: «In this age of rapid change, collaboration is key to exploit novel technologies. We are excited to combine our expertise with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in additive manufacturing».

Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «This initiative is a prime example of our understanding of innovation: We are engineering. tomorrow. together. The MOU allows us to test parts manufactured in Kiel with additive manufacturing under real conditions. This is a great asset for us».

 

Key data for the Type 218SG Submarine

Length over all approximately 70 m/230 feet
Displacement approximately 2,000 t
Complement 28
Propulsion Diesel-electric plus Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP)

 

Tulsa Commissioned

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the USS Tulsa (LCS-16), during a 10 a.m. (PST) ceremony Saturday, February 16, at San Francisco’s Embarcadero Pier 30/32.

The U.S. Navy’s newest Independence variant littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS-16)
The U.S. Navy’s newest Independence variant littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS-16)

U.S. Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Kathy Taylor, former mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma was the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Taylor gave the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life!»

«This ship is named in honor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but represents more than one city», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «USS Tulsa represents an investment in readiness and lethality, and is a testament to the increased capabilities made possible by a true partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industrial base».

The USS Tulsa (LCS-16) is the second naval vessel to honor Oklahoma’s second largest city. The first USS Tulsa was an Asheville-class gunboat designated as PG-22 that served from 1923 to 1944 before being renamed Tacloban. She earned two battle stars for World War II service. A cruiser to be named USS Tulsa was also authorized for construction during World War II, but the contract was canceled before it was built.

Commander Drew A. Borovies, a native of Washington, D.C., is the commanding officer of LCS-16 and leads the core crew of 70 officers and enlisted personnel.

LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The ship integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls). The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin, Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls).

USS Tulsa will join USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), USS Coronado (LCS-4), USS Jackson (LCS-6), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), USS Gabrielle-Giffords (LCS-10), USS Omaha (LCS-12) and USS Manchester (LCS-14) in their homeport of San Diego.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018
USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Canberra (LCS-30)
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Acceptance Trials

The future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) successfully concluded acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico February 8, following a series of in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.

Future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) completes acceptance trials
Future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) completes acceptance trials

Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before the ship is delivered to the U.S. Navy, which is planned for this summer. During trials, the U.S. Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship-handling and auxiliary systems.

«I can’t say enough about the positive results achieved by the Navy and industry team during these acceptance trials of the future USS Cincinnati», said Captain Mike Taylor, LCS program manager. «She’s well into her journey to be delivered to the Navy this summer and will provide needed and cost-effective warfighting capability to the fleet and the nation».

Following delivery and commissioning, Cincinnati will join her nine sister ships already homeported in San Diego, USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Coronado (LCS-4), USS Jackson (LCS-6), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), USS Omaha (LCS-12), USS Manchester (LCS-14), the future USS Tulsa (LCS-16) and the future USS Charleston (LCS-18).

Four more Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile. Final assembly is well underway on the future USS Kansas City (LCS-22) and USS Oakland (LCS-24). Modules for the future USS Mobile (LCS-26) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility and construction on the future USS Savannah (LCS-28) commenced last summer. Additionally, Austal is preparing for construction of the future USS Canberra (LCS-30), USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32), USS Augusta (LCS-34), USS Kingsville (LCS-36) and USS Pierre (LCS-38).

LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The Independence-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability, from deep water to the littorals.

LCS is now the second-largest surface ship class in production. In 2018, five LCSs were delivered to the Fleet and three will be delivered in 2019 – a pace not seen since the 1990s.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018
USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Canberra (LCS-30)
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Royal Assault Ship

Commandos of the future could be sent into battle from a new class of assault ships under plans being considered by the Naval Service.

These Littoral Strike Ship concept unveiled by UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson are either purpose-built amphibious ships, or converted civilian ferries, which would carry a scalable force the future commando force (RN image)
These Littoral Strike Ship concept unveiled by UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson are either purpose-built amphibious ships, or converted civilian ferries, which would carry a scalable force the future commando force (RN image)

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced investment in a concept and development phase for the vessels – called littoral strike ships.

It represents part of the Navy’s vision for the future of amphibious warfare, alongside plans for the future of the Royal Marines.

These ships would form the backbone of a littoral strike group, a scalable force made up of different elements of the fleet and the future commando force.

They would each be forward deployed, permanently away from UK shores, to exert global influence on behalf of the UK government.

Major General Charlie Stickland, Commandant General Royal Marines, said: «This announcement to accelerate the concept and assessment stages of future littoral strike ships brings us one step closer to realising our ambitions for the future commando force».

The work announced by the Secretary of State will now look at how and when the Ministry of Defence could deliver the ships into future service.

 

What are littoral strike ships?

Littoral strike ships are vessels which can command an assault force from anywhere in the world – carrying everything from helicopters and fast boats to underwater automated vehicles and huge numbers of troops.

They are designed to be able to get in close to land – with ‘littoral’ literally meaning the part of the sea which is closest to the shore.

Under plans being looked at by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, these assault ships would be forward deployed permanently away from the UK.

They would therefore give the UK government greater options in terms of working with our allies around the world but also allow the flexibility to deal with a crisis anywhere in the world.

The ships would need to be versatile enough to handle a range of different missions in all types of environments, and they would also be able to work as part of a larger strike group.

Key to their success are the Royal Marines, remade as the future commando force and enhanced with their own cutting-edge technology – and the ability to be more lethal, agile and far-reaching than ever before.