Category Archives: Navy

50 Percent
structurally complete

On June 22, 2017, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) grew about 70 feet/21.3 m in length with the addition of the lower stern. The lower stern was lifted into place at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, where the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier is now 50 percent structurally complete.

Shipbuilders at Newport News Shipbuilding lifted the lower stern of CVN-79 into place
Shipbuilders at Newport News Shipbuilding lifted the lower stern of CVN-79 into place

Like Ford, Kennedy is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form larger structural units (called «superlifts»), equipment is then installed, and the large superlifts are lifted into the dry dock using the company’s 1,050-metric ton gantry crane.

«This is a significant milestone in the ship’s construction schedule», said Mike Shawcross, Newport News’ vice president, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and USS Enterprise (CVN-80) aircraft carrier construction. «We are halfway through lifting the units onto the ship, and many of the units are larger and nearly all are more complete than the CVN-78 lifts were. This is one of many lessons learned from the construction of the lead ship that are helping to reduce construction costs and improve efficiencies on Kennedy».

After several days of preparations, the 932-metric ton lower stern lift took about an hour to complete, thanks to a team of about 25 shipbuilders – from riggers and the crane operator to shipwrights and ship fitters. The lower stern consists of 30 individual units and includes the ship’s rudders, steering gear rooms and electrical power distribution room. The carrier is on track to be completed with 445 lifts, which is 51 fewer than Ford and 149 fewer than USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the last Nimitz-class carrier.

The lower stern, which weights 932 metric tons, consists of 30 individual units and includes the ship’s rudders, steering gear rooms and electrical power distribution room
The lower stern, which weights 932 metric tons, consists of 30 individual units and includes the ship’s rudders, steering gear rooms and electrical power distribution room

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B* nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

* – Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. serves the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program

Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Reaches 50 Percent Structural Completion
Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Reaches 50 Percent Structural Completion

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Lower Stern Lift

Construction of
Bougainville

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $3 billion contract for the detail design and construction of the amphibious assault ship USS Bougainville (LHA-8). Ingalls was awarded the original long-lead material contract for the third ship in the USS America (LHA-6) class on June 30, 2016.

Construction of the amphibious assault ship USS Bougainville (LHA-8) is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, and delivery is expected in 2024
Construction of the amphibious assault ship USS Bougainville (LHA-8) is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, and delivery is expected in 2024

«Our shipbuilders do an outstanding job building large-deck amphibious warships», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. «We look forward to incorporating 50 years of amphibious shipbuilding knowledge into the U.S. Navy’s newest assault ship and providing the sailors and Marines a complex and highly capable product to perform their missions of freedom».

Construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, and delivery is expected in 2024. USS Tripoli (LHA-7), the second of the America-class amphibious assault ships, is currently under construction at Ingalls and was launched on May 1. The ship will be christened on September 16.

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 (JSF) 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.

USS Bougainville (LHA-8) will be the second 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 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).

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)

 

Acceptance of the first
AWD

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, on 16 June 2017 attended a ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide to mark the Government’s provisional acceptance of the first Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Hobart.

Defence accepts delivery of first Air Warfare Destroyer Hobart
Defence accepts delivery of first Air Warfare Destroyer Hobart

Minister Pyne said Hobart is the first of three AWD’s being built and integrated by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance which comprises the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia, ASC and support from Navantia.

«The acceptance of this first of class ship is a further demonstration of the success of the Government-led reform initiative, with the program meeting all budget and schedule targets, Hobart will enter into service later this year», Minister Pyne said.

«Hobart will play a critical role for Defence by providing new interoperable capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy. By using a combination of U.S. and Australian technologies, these ships will allow us to work even closer with our allies. Importantly, these ships will provide a safer environment for Australia’s entire Defence Force, as they have the ability to move faster for longer, whilst forming a protective bubble around themselves and other assets in a task force», he said.

Over the last decade, more than 5,000 skilled Australians have constructed all three AWD’s whilst also creating a new combat and support system to meet the unique needs of the Australian Defence Force.

Minister Pyne said provisional acceptance represented some of the most complex and innovative engineering accomplishments ever undertaken in Australia.

«These skills have taken over a decade to build and position Australia well to support the Government’s new Naval Shipbuilding Plan», he said. «The AWD program underscores the importance of Australia’s defence industry as a fundamental input into capability. Rather than just being a supplier for Defence, this program proves how Australian defence industry is truly a strategic partner with Defence».

 

Characteristics

Length 481.3 feet/146.7 m
Beam 61 feet/18.6 m
Draft 23.6 feet/7.2 m
Full load displacement 7,000 tonnes
Main Engine 36 MW/48,276 hp
Top speed 28+ knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range at 18+ knots/21 mph/33 km/h 5,000+ NM/5,779 miles/9,300 km
Crew 186
Accommodation 234
Combat System Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7.1
AN/SPY-1D(V) Phased Array Radar (81 NM/93 miles/150 km)
AN/SPQ-9B Horizon Search Radar
Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (48 VLS cells: RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM)/Standard Missile-2 (SM-2)/SM-6)
Mk-45 Mod.4 5” (127-mm) 62 Calibre Gun (Range: 20 NM/23 miles/37 km)
Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control (2 × 4 launchers)
Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite
Very Short Range Air and Surface Defence
Nulka Active Missile Decoy system
Integrated Sonar System incorporating a hull mounted and towed array sonar
Communications Suite
Aviation Flightdeck and hangar for one helicopter
Boats Two Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs)

 

Gabrielle Commissioned

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), the U.S. Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, was brought to life by her crew before a crowd of nearly 2,500 guests at Pier 21 at the Port of Galveston, June 10.

USS Gabrielle Giffords Commissioned in Galveston
USS Gabrielle Giffords Commissioned in Galveston

Admiral William Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, delivered the ceremony’s principal address before officially commissioning the ship into service.

«As we man the rails today, blood gets pumped, the ship comes alive, and the heart begins to beat», said Moran. «It’s the blood that is infused by the spirit, the attitude, and the courage of its namesake. We are so proud to be part of Gabrielle Giffords’ legacy to the United States».

Following the commissioning, Doctor Jill Biden, the ship’s sponsor and wife of former Vice President Joe Biden, gave the time-honored Navy tradition of ordering the crew to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

The crowd sounded its approval as the crew ran aboard the ship to man their assigned stations and complete the ceremony of bringing the ship into active service to end a story that began more than five years ago.

In 2012 the Secretary of the U.S. Navy announced the future ship’s name, and USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) became the 16th ship to be named for a woman and only the 13th ship to be named for a living person since 1850.

The ship is commanded by Commander Keith Woodley, a native of Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, who leads the core crew of 50 officers and enlisted personnel.

During the ceremony Woodley praised the crew for their dedication and hard work in getting the ship ready for service.

«This is not just a new ship. This is a new class of ship and that makes it even more challenging for the crew», said Woodley. «They have risen to that challenge and performed exceptionally well in getting this ship ready for service».

Most other Navy surface combatant ships have a crew of 300 or more Sailors, but Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) like Gabrielle Giffords have more automated systems and much smaller crews than their counterparts. Gabrielle Giffords’ crew is just 73 at the ship’s commissioning.

«It’s not easy being an LCS Sailor», said Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Mark Dobrinin. «We have to wear so many hats and be trained on systems and duties outside of our normal job specialty due to the small crew size. Every enlisted Sailor here volunteered for the program and we’re excited to serve on USS Gabrielle Giffords».

The 3,200-ton USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) was built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The ship is 421 feet/128.3 m in length and has a beam of 103 feet/31.4 m and a navigational draft of 14.8 feet/4.5 m. The ship uses two gas turbines and two diesel engines to power four steerable waterjets to speeds in excess of 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h.

Littoral combat ships are fast, agile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking, and win against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft.

A fast, maneuverable, and networked surface combatant, USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is capable of operating independently or with an associated strike group. It is designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) will depart Galveston and begin her transit to her homeport at Naval Base San Diego.

The crew of the newest littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) «mans the ship and brings her to life» during a commissioning ceremony held in the Port of Galveston, Texas (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Michael D. Mitchell/Released)
The crew of the newest littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) «mans the ship and brings her to life» during a commissioning ceremony held in the Port of Galveston, Texas (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Michael D. Mitchell/Released)

 

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
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017
USS Kansas City (LCS-22)
USS Oakland (LCS-24)

 

Indiana launched

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on Jun 09, 2017 that the Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) was launched into the James River at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The boat was moved to the shipyard’s submarine pier for final outfitting, testing and crew certification.

The Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) has been launched into the James River and moved to Newport News Shipbuilding’s submarine pier for final outfitting, testing and crew certification (Photo by Ashley Major/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) has been launched into the James River and moved to Newport News Shipbuilding’s submarine pier for final outfitting, testing and crew certification (Photo by Ashley Major/HII)

«Launch is a true testament to our shipbuilders’ roughly four years of hard work», said Matt Needy, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «Over the next several months, we will work closely with the Indiana crew to bring this great ship to life. With the Navy’s recent increase in SSN force structure requirements from 48 to 66 submarines, the shipbuilders here at Newport News and at our teaming partner, Electric Boat, understand the importance of getting these highly valued ships delivered and ready for mission-tasking by our Navy leadership».

USS Indiana (SSN-789) a is the 16th Virginia-class submarine and the eighth that will be delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News. Nearly 4,000 shipbuilders have participated in Indiana’s construction since the work began in September 2012.

Indiana was moved out of a construction facility into a floating dry dock using a transfer car system. The floating dry dock was submerged, and the submarine was launched into the James River. The approximately 7,800-ton submarine was moved to the shipyard’s submarine pier, where final outfitting, testing and crew certification will take place.

«Our Indiana sailors are honored to be at the helm as the newest Hoosier boat launches into a new chapter at sea», said Commander Jesse Zimbauer, Indiana’s commanding officer.

Virginia-class submarines, a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, are built for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions to replace the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines as they are retired. Virginia-class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These submarines are capable of supporting multiple mission areas and can operate at submerged speeds of more than 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h for months at a time.

 

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/10.06 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.36 m
Displacement Approximately 7,835 tons/7,961 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 12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or 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 I

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-774 Virginia EB 8-16-03 10-23-04 Portsmouth, New Hampshire
SSN-775 Texas NNS 7-31-05 9-9-06 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-776 Hawaii EB 6-19-06 5-5-07 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina NNS 4-21-07 5-3-08 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

SSN – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered

 

Block II

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-778 New Hampshire EB 6-21-08 10-25-08 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-779 New Mexico NNS 12-13-08 11-21-09 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-780 Missouri EB 12-5-09 7-31-10 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-781 California NNS 11-6-10 10-29-11 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-782 Mississippi EB 12-3-11 6-2-12 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-783 Minnesota NNS 10-27-12 9-7-13 Norfolk, Virginia

 

Block III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15 10-29-16 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Echo Voyager

Boeing and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) are teaming on the design and production of Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) in support of the U.S. Navy’s Extra Large UUV program.

Boeing, Huntington Ingalls Industries to Team on Unmanned Undersea Vehicles
Boeing, Huntington Ingalls Industries to Team on Unmanned Undersea Vehicles

«This partnership provides the U.S. Navy a cost-effective, low-risk path to meet the emergent needs that prompted the Navy’s Advanced Undersea Prototyping program», said Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works. «We are combining Boeing’s preeminent UUV maritime engineering team with our nation’s leading shipbuilder and Navy technical services company to get operational vehicles to the Navy years ahead of the standard acquisition process».

Boeing is currently testing its newest and largest UUV, Echo Voyager, off the Southern California coast. The vehicle is designed for multiple missions and could include a modular payload bay of up to 34 feet/10.36 meters, offering enhanced endurance and increased payload capacity over traditional UUVs. Echo Voyager is fully autonomous, requiring no support vessel for launch or recovery, enabling operation at sea for months before returning to port.

«We look forward to a long relationship with Boeing as we embark together to field this unmanned force-multiplier for the U.S. Navy», said Andy Green, executive vice president of Huntington Ingalls Industries and president of the company’s Technical Solutions division. «I am confident this team will continue redefining the autonomy paradigm for UUVs».

The partnership will leverage design and production facilities in Huntington Beach, California, Newport News, Virginia, and Panama City, Florida, and will offer access to all of the expertise and capability of Boeing and HII.

Sea Trails

INS Khanderi (S51), the second of the six Scorpene class submarines being built in India at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), sailed out on 01 June 2017 from Mumbai harbour for her maiden sea sortie. It was also the first major trial for her propulsion plant and a very important milestone in the construction programme.

Commencement of Sea Trails MDL Yard 11876 (INS Khanderi)
Commencement of Sea Trails MDL Yard 11876 (INS Khanderi)

The successful trial moved the submarine a significant step closer to her induction into the Indian Navy later this year. She will now be put through her paces via a rigorous set of trials, which are designed to test her operating envelop to the maximum.

The first Scorpene, INS Kalvari (S50), is presently being readied for delivery in July/August this year, after having been put through a grueling set of trials over the past one year, including successful live missile and torpedo firings.

Named after ferocious deep-sea predators, the Scorpenes, which operate very silently and are capable of multifarious roles, will add teeth to the might of the Indian Navy by strengthening its crucial Submarine Arm.

Keel-laying for Margaret

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) marked the traditional keel-laying ceremony for the second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel, HMCS Margaret Brooke, at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard on May 29, 2017.

Keel-laying ceremony for HMCS Margaret Brooke marks a shipbuilding milestone
Keel-laying ceremony for HMCS Margaret Brooke marks a shipbuilding milestone

A keel-laying ceremony is one of the most significant dates in a ship’s construction. This ceremony was marked by the placing of a coin onto the keel of the ship by Olivia Strowbridge, the first woman in a trade supervisory role at Halifax Shipyard, and its first female certified ship spray painter. In shipbuilding tradition, this coin will remain embedded within the ship’s structure for its entire life, and will invite good luck for all who sail in it. Once the coin was placed, Ms. Strowbridge declared that the keel is now «well and truly laid».

The ceremony was also attended by Rear-Admiral John Newton, Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic; Mr. Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding; and Commander Michele Tessier, the future Commanding Officer of HMCS Margaret Brooke, among others.

The coin placed on this ship depicts a four-leaf clover; a symbol with special significance to LCdr Brooke, who carried two four-leaf clovers in a silver locket as a good luck charm following her survival of the sinking of the ferry SS Caribou in 1942.

The Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels will increase Canada’s capability in the Arctic and along its other two coasts. They will deliver armed, seaborne surveillance and increase Canada’s awareness of activities in these regions.

 

Quick Facts

In traditional ship construction, the keel typically extends the entire length of the vessel, running along the bottom of the ship and serving as its «backbone». Today, many ships, including the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels, are instead constructed in modules or blocks, fabricated separately then brought together to form the superstructure of the ship. However, the keel-laying tradition has endured.

Construction continues on HMCS Margaret Brooke at Halifax Shipyard. The ship is expected to be officially launched in a Naming/Launching ceremony in 2019.

HMCS Margaret Brooke is named after LCdr Margaret M. Brooke, an RCN Nursing Sister in the Second World War who was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her selfless act of bravery in attempting to save the life of a colleague after the ferry they were travelling on, the SS Caribou, was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1942.

When the name of HMCS Margaret Brooke was announced in April 2015, it was the first RCN ship ever to be named after a living Canadian woman. LCdr Brooke passed away the following year at the age of 100.

During her work in Sydney, Nova Scotia, at a naval hospital, a patient gave then-Sub-Lieutenant Margaret Brooke two four-leaf clovers. She had them with her when the SS Caribou was torpedoed and sunk on the night of October 14, 1942. She often said that she felt they were her good luck charm.

The niece of LCdr Margaret Brooke, Ms. Margaret Elizabeth Brooke, is the sponsor of the ship that will bear her aunt’s name.

The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels will be large, ice-capable ships, more than 328 feet/100 meters long, and designed for a variety of missions in Canadian waters and abroad. Commander Michele Tessier has been appointed as the first Commanding Officer of HMCS Margaret Brooke.

The Navy accepted

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Washington (SSN-787), the 14th submarine of the Virginia-class, May 26.

An undated photo of the future USS Washington (SSN-787). The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the 14th submarine of the Virginia-class May 26 (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Matt Hildreth/Released)
An undated photo of the future USS Washington (SSN-787). The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the 14th submarine of the Virginia-class May 26 (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Matt Hildreth/Released)

Washington is the fourth of eight Virginia-class Block III submarines and the seventh of the class to be delivered to the Navy by Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. Washington began construction in September 2011 and will be commissioned later this year in Norfolk, Virginia. The submarine’s sponsor is Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

«Washington’s delivery continues our commitment to deliver Virginia-class submarines within budget and ready to deploy and execute Fleet tasking», said Captain Mike Stevens, Virginia-class submarine program manager.

Washington will be the third U.S. Navy ship, and first submarine, to be commissioned with a name honoring the State of Washington. The previous two ships were an armored cruiser, (ACR 11), which served under the name from 1905 to 1916, and a World War II battleship (BB-56), decommissioned in 1947.

Washington successfully completed the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) trials earlier this month receiving a score of 96 out of 100, the highest score to date on any new construction Virginia-class submarine. The INSURV board conducts acceptance trials of ships and service craft for the purpose of determining the quality of construction, compliance with specifications and Navy requirements.

Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. This, among other design changes, reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

 

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 12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or 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 III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15 10-29-16 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Acceptance Trials

The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) successfully completed acceptance trials conducted by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) in the Atlantic Ocean May 24-26 and is in final preparations for delivery.

The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk for the first time. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – spent several days conducting builder's sea trails, a comprehensive test of many of the ship's key systems and technologies (U.S. Navy photo by Matt Hildreth courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries/Released)
The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk for the first time. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – spent several days conducting builder’s sea trails, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies (U.S. Navy photo by Matt Hildreth courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries/Released)

Acceptance trials are primarily aimed at demonstrating to INSURV the ability of the ship’s crew to conduct operations at sea, and that the ship is constructed in accordance with contract specifications.

«Congratulations to our Navy and industry team for all the great work that has led us to this exciting milestone», said Rear Admiral Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers. «As a result of much dedication and hard work, delivery of CVN-78 is close at hand, and we are looking forward to commissioning the ship into the fleet this summer».”

Prior to the underway period, INSURV conducted a rigorous set of pierside trials, including more than 200 in-port demonstrations and inspections. The three-day at-sea portion of acceptance trials also included more than 500 INSURV demonstrations and inspections of the ship’s hull, mechanical and electrical systems.

The Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair is responsible for ensuring the ship’s readiness for acceptance trials and presenting the ship to INSURV. The ship’s crew is responsible for operating the ship and conducting tests and demonstrations. INSURV oversees and witnesses the execution of the acceptance trials schedule.

The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is the lead ship in the Ford class of aircraft carriers, the U.S. Navy’s first new aircraft carrier design in more than 40 years, which will begin the phased replacement of Nimitz-class carriers when the ship is commissioned. The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is designed with significant quality-of-life improvements and reduced maintenance requirements. Several new technologies, such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, Advanced Arresting Gear, and Dual Band Radar have been incorporated into the Ford’s design. These innovations are expected to improve operational availability and capability, and reduce total ownership cost over its 50-year service life by nearly $4 billion compared with Nimitz-class carriers. CVN-78 honors the 38th president of the United States and pays tribute to his lifetime of service to the nation in the U.S. Navy and in the U.S. government.

Construction of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) has been ongoing since 2008, with the island landed in January 2013. The ship was christened in November 2013 by the ship’s sponsor, Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Ford. The ship’s crew conducted a pierside «fast cruise» in March 2017, and builder’s sea trials occurred in April 2017.

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B* nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

* – Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. serves the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)