Category Archives: Navy

Audacious was launched

HMS Audacious (S122), the fourth of seven Astute class attack submarines being built for the Royal Navy, was launched on April 28 by BAE Systems at its site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, UK.

HMS Audacious (S122), Latest Royal Navy SSN, Readied for Launch
HMS Audacious (S122), Latest Royal Navy SSN, Readied for Launch

The 318-foot/97-metre long, 7,400 tonne highly-capable nuclear powered submarine which was officially named at a ceremony in December last year, emerged from the site’s giant Devonshire Dock Hall yesterday. On April 28, it was lowered into the dock water for the first time to begin the next phase of its test and commissioning programme ahead of leaving Barrow for sea trials next year.

Will Blamey, BAE Systems Submarines Managing Director, said: «Today’s launch marks an important milestone in the Astute programme and demonstrates our pride in building submarines for the Royal Navy. Audacious enters the water in a more advanced state of build than any previous Astute class submarine, which puts us in a good position for the next phase of work – the testing and commissioning of her complex systems. Designing and building a nuclear-powered submarine is extremely challenging and today’s launch is yet another reminder of the unique skills required to deliver such complex programmes. We now look forward to working alongside Audacious’ crew to prepare her for sea trials, before she joins her sister submarines in service with the Royal Navy».

Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Submarines Rear Admiral John Weale said: «It’s an exciting moment to see Audacious enter the water for the first time ahead of trials. Such a feat of engineering is testament to the skills of the BAE Systems workforce in Barrow. As part of an increasingly capable Royal Navy, Audacious will go on to serve on operations right around the world, helping keep Britain safe».

HMS Audacious (S122), an Astute-class nuclear attack submarine, has left the covered hall in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria (BAE Systems photo)
HMS Audacious (S122), an Astute-class nuclear attack submarine, has left the covered hall in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria (BAE Systems photo)

Armed with Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk land attack missiles, the Astute class submarines are the most highly-capable submarines ever built for the Royal Navy. They can strike at targets up to 540 NM/621 miles/1,000 km from the coast with pin-point accuracy, are equipped with a world-leading sonar capability and powered by a nuclear reactor. The first three submarines in the class, HMS Astute (S119), HMS Ambush (S120) and HMS Artful (S121), are now in service with the final three Astute class submarines are at various stages of construction at the Barrow site.

BAE Systems is the prime contractor in the Astute programme and the UK’s only designer and builder of nuclear powered submarines – one of the world’s most complex engineering challenges. The Company is also the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme, the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines. Construction of the first of four submarines, named Dreadnought, began last year.

The Company’s Submarines business employs approximately 8,500 people and spends more than £300M per year with over 1,000 direct suppliers – 85 per cent of whom are based in the UK.

BAE Systems launches HMS Audacious (S122) – the fourth state-of-the-art Astute submarine
BAE Systems launches HMS Audacious (S122) – the fourth state-of-the-art Astute submarine

Delivery of Yuma

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of its eighth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel, USNS Yuma (EPF-8), April 21.

USNS Yuma (EPF-8) has been delivered to the U.S. Navy following a ceremony held at Austal USA’s Mobile Alabama shipyard (Image: Austal)
USNS Yuma (EPF-8) has been delivered to the U.S. Navy following a ceremony held at Austal USA’s Mobile Alabama shipyard (Image: Austal)

EPFs are shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamarans capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo transport, that provide combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility. EPFs enable rapid projection and agile maneuver and transport of personnel, equipment and supplies over operational distances and offer access to harsh and degraded offload points.

«EPFs have performed exceptionally in the fleet, and we continue to deliver highly capable ships that can successfully meet a wide range of missions», said Captain Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «The delivery of Yuma will provide continued warfighting capabilities to our fleet as these ships continue to conduct operations around the globe».

As versatile, non-combatant vessels, EPFs provide increased operational flexibility for a wide range of activities including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations, and flexible logistics support. These vessels can interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities and are capable of on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank. The EPFs include a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations and airline-style seating for 312 embarked forces with fixed berthing for 104. USNS Yuma (EPF-8) will be owned and operated by the Military Sealift Command.

USNS Yuma (EPF-8) was constructed by Austal USA which is currently under contract for the construction of four additional EPFs. A christening ceremony is scheduled for USNS City of Bismarck (EPF-9) next month with a keel laying ceremony planned for USNS Burlington (EPF-10) early this summer. EPFs 11 and 12 were awarded in September 2016 and are currently in the early stages of production.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.

 

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 Bismark (EPF-9), Under construction

USNS Burlington (EPF-10), Under construction

USNS Puerto Rico (EPF-11), Under construction

USNS EPF-12, Under construction

BELH@RRA Frigate

On April 21, the French Defence Ministry announced the attribution to DCNS of a contract for the development and construction of five Intermediate-Size Frigates (FTIs) intended for the French Navy. DCNS will propose a French version of its newBELH@RRA frigate. The first of the five frigates from this DGA-managed programme should be delivered in 2023 with an entry into active service in 2025.

Flexible design for export variants
Flexible design for export variants

 

A latest-generation digital frigate for the French Navy

The new BELH@RRA frigate will be designed and developed by DCNS, in joint project management with THALES for the development of the new-generation radar it will be equipped with.

The initiation of the FTI programme will benefit the DCNS Group’s employment basins, the foremost of which being the DCNS Lorient site and its subcontracting partners: the design of the BELH@RRA frigates represents about two million hours of work for the DCNS design offices. For the entire DCNS Group, the construction of a BELH@RRA frigate represents on average two million hours of work, of which three hundred thousand hours for the design offices.

Hervé Guillou, Chairman and CEO of DCNS states that: «DCNS is proud to contribute, alongside THALES, to the renewal of the French naval forces thanks to a new vessel responding to the needs of a world-class navy. It is key component of our range of military vessels and the attribution of this contract also allows us to develop a frigate that addresses the expectations of a dynamic international market».

A world-class frigate of a displacement of 4,000 tonnes intended for anti-submarine warfare, the French version of the BELH@RRA is designed to respond to the various French national needs. It will be endowed with extended self-defence and special forces projection capacities. Last but not least, it will integrate the new THALES SEA FIRE four flat antenna radar and will be equipped with Aster 30 missiles from MBDA.

 

The first frigate for «digital natives»

Developed for crews that will take the commands around 2020, the BELH@RRA frigates will benefit from the very latest digital technologies. They will, in particular, be equipped with a latest-generation combat system. This will bring greater rapidity for tactical analysis, decision taking and weapons deployment.

The integration of the latest digital technologies will ensure that the vessel will be able to evolve over a period of almost forty years. The information-processing systems will be modernised incrementally to be adapted to changes in the operational context, the emergence of future threats and the short renewal cycles for new technologies.

With the BELH@RRA frigate, DCNS intends to continue the success enjoyed by La Fayette-class frigates, a reference on the naval-defence market with over twenty units sold around the world. DCNS completes its product line by positioning this new frigate between the 6,000-tonne FREMM multi-mission frigate segment and that of the 2,500- to 3,000-tonne Gowind corvettes.

Strong military capacities in all warfare areas
Strong military capacities in all warfare areas

 

Missions

Successor of the stealth La Fayette-class frigate, BELH@RRA is the new combat ship for naval supremacy.

BELH@RRA is the answer from DCNS to navies looking for a compact frigate able to perform a large range of missions stand-alone or within a task force either for high sea duration missions as for shallow water operation in congested and contested operational environment.

This new frigate features high level capabilities in anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine and asymmetric warfare domains. BELH@RRA is fitted with latest generation fixed-panels Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar integrated in a Panoramic Surveillance Intelligence Module (PSIM), a complete sonar suite, long and medium range anti-air missiles and a comprehensive electronic warfare suite.

Thanks to its flexible design, BELH@RRA can be proposed in different versions with adapted combat payload and platform arrangement.

 

Design flexibility

BELH@RRA is either equipped with:

  • fixed-panels AESA radar or rotating 3D multifunction radar;
  • 76-mm or 127-mm gun;
  • up to 32 vertical launched missiles cells;
  • Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) and/or short range weapon system;
  • full sonar suite – Hull-Mounted Sonar (HMS) and Variable Depth Sonar (VDS);
  • passive detection in all frequencies bands (radar, radio, laser…);
  • up to 40 MW/53,641 hp Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD) propulsion,
  • fixed and rotary-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs);
  • stretched hull to receive a flexible zone for UXVs, RHIBS, containers storage, and increased autonomy and accommodation.

 

Advanced warfare

This compact and stealth platform provides maximised capacities for active/passive self-defence and attack in all warfare areas.

BELH@RRA baseline version is equipped with SETIS, DCNS latest-generation combat system fitted for national or coalition forces interoperability with tactical data links presets.

SETIS features shipborne and third-parties UAV operations directly from the Combat Information Centre (CIC).

BELH@RRA is equipped with an innovative short range protection center which gives full 360° vision coverage and action against close targets.

Advanced digital infrastructure design through ACCESS (Afloat Common Computing Evolutive and Secured System Project).

BELH@RRA cybersecurity is addressed by DCNS through the whole warship design and on-board/ashore systems monitoring.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Displacement 4,000 t class
Length 121 m/397 feet
Width 17 m/55.8 feet
Speed 27-29 knots/31-33.4 mph/50-53.7 km/h
Range 5,000 NM/5,754 miles/9,260 km at 15 knots/17.3 mph/27.8 km/h
Accommodation 145-165
Aviation 1×10 t class helicopter and 1×mid-size UAV

 

Fifth OPV for UK

BAE Systems welcomed Mr. Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of Defence Equipment and Support, to its Govan shipyard in Glasgow on 21 April 2017 to cut the first metal and begin construction of HMS Spey, the fifth and final River Class Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the Royal Navy.

Construction begins on fifth OPV for UK Royal Navy
Construction begins on fifth OPV for UK Royal Navy

To mark the occasion, employees were joined at a ceremony by representatives of the Royal Navy and the local community as Mr. Douglas operated the plasma cutting machine to cut the first steel plates for HMS Spey.

BAE Systems has recently invested over £2 million in new technology for its Fabrication Facility, including the introduction of two robotic welding machines and a new laser cutting machine, which will be used on HMS Spey and the Type 26 Global Combat Ship later this year.

DE&S CEO Tony Douglas, said; «The team at Defence Equipment and Support has driven the successful delivery of the OPV programme; today’s steel cut is a proud moment not only for us, but for the Royal Navy and our industry partners too. I am looking forward to continuing this long-standing and close relationship when we begin manufacturing for the Type 26 fleet later in the summer».

Iain Stevenson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «It is special occasions such as the steel cut of HMS Spey today that help us reflect on the importance of what we do, delivering the ships that will protect our nation’s interests at home and abroad. We are investing in the latest digital design technologies and new processes which enable us to deliver the quality ships and help to secure the long-term future of our highly skilled industry in the UK. We now have five OPVs in various stages of construction at our shipyards in Glasgow and I look forward to seeing the first of class Type 26 Global Combat Ship start to take shape in the summer of this year».

This OPV design differs from the Royal Navy’s existing River Class ships but there are variants already in service in Brazil and Thailand which puts capability at the forefront of their navies.

The first vessel, HMS Forth (P222), entered the water in August 2016, less than two years after construction started, and is now preparing for sea trials before being delivered to the Royal Navy by the end of 2017.

Work on the River Class OPVs continues to sustain skills in Glasgow and the wider supply chain, with more than 100 companies in the programme across the UK.

The first vessel, HMS Forth (P222), entered the water in August 2016
The first vessel, HMS Forth (P222), entered the water in August 2016

Astute class submarines

BAE Systems has been awarded a £1.4 billion contract by the UK’s Ministry of Defence to deliver the next Astute class submarine to the Royal Navy.

BAE Systems awarded £1.4billion contract for new submarine
BAE Systems awarded £1.4billion contract for new submarine

HMS Agamemnon (S124) will be the sixth of seven nuclear-powered attack submarines designed and manufactured at the Company’s site at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

Will Blamey, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: «Securing the contract for the sixth Astute class submarine is a significant milestone for BAE Systems and the result of many years of hard work by our highly skilled workforce. The Astute class submarines are amongst the most highly capable and technologically advanced in the world and we’re immensely proud to build them for the Royal Navy».

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: «This latest investment means we are well on our way to completing our fleet of Astute submarines. These are the most advanced submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy and are already providing unprecedented levels of stealth and attack capability across the world. Backed by a rising defence budget and a £178 billion equipment plan, Barrow will remain the hub of our submarine build programmes providing high skilled jobs for years to come».

The first three Astute class submarines HMS Astute (S119), HMS Ambush (S120) and HMS Artful (S121) are currently in service with the Royal Navy with a further four in various stages of construction at the Barrow site.

BAE Systems is the prime contractor responsible for the design, build, test and commissioning of the seven Astute class nuclear-powered attack submarines. It is also the industrial lead for the Dreadnought programme, the Royal Navy’s next generation of submarines that will carry the continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.

The Company’s submarine operation employs approximately 8,400 people and spends more than £300M per year with over 1,000 direct suppliers – 85 per cent of whom are based in the UK.

Navy held a keel

The U.S. Navy held a keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, April 10.

The U.S. Navy and held a keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, April 10. LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to host interchangeable mission packages onto the seaframe in support of surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare (Photo by Austal USA/Released)
The U.S. Navy and held a keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, April 10. LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to host interchangeable mission packages onto the seaframe in support of surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare (Photo by Austal USA/Released)

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and ship’s sponsor Penny Pritzker authenticated the keel for the 10th Independence variant of the littoral combat ship class during the ceremony. While keel laying traditionally represents the formal start of a ship’s construction, advanced modular shipbuilding allows fabrication of the ship to begin months in advance. Today, keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship’s components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.

LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) seaframe program manager’s representative, Navy Commander Chris Addington, commended the Austal USA shipbuilders at the event. «Through the hard work and dedication of the men and women of Austal, this keel will be built up to a highly capable Navy ship», he said. «Thanks to all of you for your efforts to complete a great ship that will exemplify its namesake city».

Cincinnati will be approximately 417 feet/127.1 m in length, with a width of nearly 103 feet/31.4 m. LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to host interchangeable mission packages onto the seaframe in support of surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Navy’s LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA and the Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin. Both variants are being purchased under an innovative block-buy acquisition strategy. There are currently 13 LCSs under construction.

Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet.

 

The Independence Variant

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 417 feet/127.1 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
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)

 

Multi-mission frigate

On 11 April in Toulon, DCNS delivered the FREMM multi-mission frigate D654 Auvergne to the French Navy, as stipulated in the contract. This frigate is the fourth of the series ordered by OCCAR (L’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d’Armement) on behalf of the DGA (French armament procurement agency).

Under the project management of DCNS, the heavily-armed FREMM frigates are equipped with the most effective weapon systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunctional radar, the naval cruise missile, the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles and the MU 90 torpedoes
Under the project management of DCNS, the heavily-armed FREMM frigates are equipped with the most effective weapon systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunctional radar, the naval cruise missile, the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles and the MU 90 torpedoes

Delivery of the FREMM multi-mission frigate D654 Auvergne is the result of a design and construction process managed by DCNS in close cooperation with the French Navy, DGA and OCCAR teams.

This technological and industrial success employed many DCNS sites and its partners and subcontractors to ensure compliance with the industrial milestones, in particular the launching in September 2015 and the first sea outing in September 2016.

«The delivery of the FREMM Auvergne represents an opportunity to applaud the industrial and technological prowess of DCNS and its subcontractors. The frigate Auvergne illustrates our capacity to produce and deliver on time a series of front-line combat vessels to satisfy the needs of our client navies», indicates Nicolas Gaspard, director of the FREMM programme at DCNS.

On completion, the FREMM programme will represent the construction of ten vessels on the DCNS Lorient site, of which eight for the French Navy. Six FREMM would have been delivered to the French Navy before end of 2019, in accordance with the 2014-2019 military programming law. DCNS is currently completing the FREMM D655 Bretagne, which was floated on 16 September 2016, and is pursuing the assembly of the FREMM D656 Normandie. Furthermore, work has already started on the ninth FREMM in the series, the D657 Alsace, which will be one of the two FREMMs with strengthened anti-aircraft capacities, whose deliveries are scheduled before 2022.

 

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

 

Vulcano Launched

The launching ceremony of the bow section of the LSS logistic support unit «Vulcano», took place today at the shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia (Naples) in the presence of the Italian Minister of Defence, Roberta Pinotti. The unit was ordered to Fincantieri within the renewal plan of the Italian Navy’s fleet.

The bow section of the Italian navy’s future logistic ship, Vulcano, shortly before its launch. It will be transported by sea to the Muggiano shipyard, near La Spezia, where it will be joined with the stern section being built there (Fincantieri photo)
The bow section of the Italian navy’s future logistic ship, Vulcano, shortly before its launch. It will be transported by sea to the Muggiano shipyard, near La Spezia, where it will be joined with the stern section being built there (Fincantieri photo)

Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Maria Teresa Piras, widow of the vessel tenant Emilio Attramini, young Italian Navy Officer, who died in 1977 in the air disaster of the Monte Serra.

The ceremony was attended, among others, by the Undersecretary of State for Defence, Gioacchino Alfano, the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli, the Mayor of Castellammare di Stabia, Antonio Pannullo, and the Chairman of Fincantieri, Ambassador Giampiero Massolo.

The bow section launched today, 308.4 feet/94 meters long, 78.7 feet/24 meters wide, 53.5 feet/16.3 meters high, weighing about 4,100 tons, will be transported by sea to the shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia), where it will be assembled to set up the entire unit with the stern section. The delivery of the LSS is scheduled in 2019.

The multi-year program for the renewal of the Italian Navy’s fleet foresees the construction, besides the LSS, of one transport and landing unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock) – this unit, too, to be built in this shipyard with works starting this summer and launching in the summer 2019 – as well as seven Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ships (PPA), with other three in option.

The fundamental characteristic common to all three classes of ships is their high level of innovation providing them with a considerable degree of efficiency and flexibility in serving different mission profiles. In particular, these are dual use vessels, meaning that they may be used for both standard military purposes and those in favour of the community (as for example for civil protection), and they also have a low environmental impact thanks to a state-of-the-art auxiliary propulsion system generating a low level of pollution emissions (electric engines).

The vessel «Vulcano» will be classified by RINA pursuant international conventions about prevention of pollution regarding the more traditional aspects, like the ones of the MARPOL Convention, as well as those not yet mandatory, as the Hong Kong Convention about ship recycling.

 

Vessel’s characteristics – LSS – Logistic Support Ship

The LSS is a vessel that provides logistics support to the fleet, endowed with hospital and healthcare capabilities thanks to the presence of a fully equipped hospital, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentist’s office and hospital rooms capable of hosting up to 12 seriously injured patients. The ship is capable of combining capacity to transport and transfer to other transport vessels used for liquids (diesel fuel, jet fuel, fresh water) and solids (emergency spare parts, food and ammunitions) and to perform at sea repairs and maintenance work for other vessels. The defense systems are limited to the capacity of command and control in tactical scenarios, communications and dissuasive, non-lethal defense systems. The vessel is also capable of embarking more complex defence systems and becoming an intelligence and electronic war platform.

  • 3 feet/165 meters long
  • speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
  • 200 persons including crew and specialists
  • 4 replenishment station abeam and 1 astern
  • Capacity to supply drinking water to land
  • Capacity to provide electricity to land with 3,352.5 hp/2,500 kW of power
  • Possibility of embarking up to 8 residential and healthcare modules
  • Capacity to perform rescues at sea, through recovery and seabed operations (the ship is equipped with a 30 tons offshore stabilized crane stabilized)
  • base for rescue operations through helicopters and special vessels

 

She’s underway!

The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is underway for its first set of sea trials, known as Builder’s Sea Trials (BST). Builder’s sea trials provide an opportunity to test systems, components and compartments at sea for the first time.

The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway on its own power for the first time. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – will spend several days conducting builder's sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship's key systems and technologies (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/Released)
The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway on its own power for the first time. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – will spend several days conducting builder’s sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/Released)

Over the next several days, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) Sailors, shipbuilders from Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS), the Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding and Naval Sea Systems Command personnel will be working side-by-side testing many of the ship’s key systems and technologies.

«The U.S. Navy and our industry partners are excited to have the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway under her own power for the first time, executing a rigorous and comprehensive test program for this first-of-class ship», said Rear Admiral Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers. «This milestone is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, and we look forward to learning a great deal during sea trials. We will continue to work together to deliver Ford’s critical capabilities to the fleet».

Future USS Gerald R. Ford underway for Builder's Sea Trials (BST)
Future USS Gerald R. Ford underway for Builder’s Sea Trials (BST)

 

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

Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is the first new aircraft carrier design in 40 years, replacing the Nimitz-class of carriers
Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is the first new aircraft carrier design in 40 years, replacing the Nimitz-class of carriers

 

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)
The new aircraft carrier class was redesigned from the keel to the mast of the island house
The new aircraft carrier class was redesigned from the keel to the mast of the island house

Christening of Ignatius

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened its 31st Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), with approximately 1,000 guest in attendance at Saturday’s ceremony, April 08, 2017.

Ship’s Sponsor Nancy Ignatius christens DDG-117, the destroyer named for her husband, Paul Ignatius, former Secretary of the Navy. Also pictured (left to right) are Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John M. Richardson; Commander Robby Trotter, the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Doctor Elisa Ignatius, granddaughter of Paul and Nancy Ignatius; Paul Ignatius, the ship’s namesake; Philip Gunn, Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)
Ship’s Sponsor Nancy Ignatius christens DDG-117, the destroyer named for her husband, Paul Ignatius, former Secretary of the Navy. Also pictured (left to right) are Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John M. Richardson; Commander Robby Trotter, the ship’s prospective commanding officer; Doctor Elisa Ignatius, granddaughter of Paul and Nancy Ignatius; Paul Ignatius, the ship’s namesake; Philip Gunn, Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives; and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)

«These Arleigh Burke destroyers provide our leaders with the ability to conduct a wide range of missions», said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson. «That kind of flexibility is increasingly important in the world of maritime competition. … USS Ignatius and her crew will be doing the nation’s work, providing credible options to our nation’s leaders for decades to come. They’ll be respected always, welcome news to our friends and a worst nightmare to our enemies. Our body, the ship, is tough, built with the best materials in the hands of the best shipbuilders and manned by the best crew America can produce».

USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) is named in honor of Paul Ignatius, who served as the United States’ 59th Secretary of the 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 was in attendance for today’s ceremony.

«I want to express my appreciation to the men and women of one of the world’s best – if not the best shipyard – here at Huntington Ingalls, whose ships, as their motto proudly proclaims, are built stronger than steel», Ignatius said. «One of the great strengths of our country is the industrial might that builds ships, tanks and airplanes that ensured victory in World War II and that continue to undergird our efforts to maintain stability amid the new threats that face us».

Nancy W. Ignatius, his wife, is the ship’s sponsor and officially christened the ship after successfully breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across its bow. Paul and Nancy Ignatius have been married nearly 70 years and have four children together. They were escorted to the platform by Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias.

«Ingalls ships are built with one goal in mind: to protect the brave men and women who protect our freedom», Cuccias said. «Working closely with our Navy partner, we continue to improve on each ship we build. And the Paul Ignatius will be no exception. Today, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in modernizing our facilities alongside our partners, the leadership of the great state of Mississippi. Combine that with a hot production line and our talented and experienced shipbuilders, and we are uniquely positioned to provide our country with the highest quality, most capable destroyers in the fleet. Simply stated, Ingalls builds the finest, most capable warships the world has ever known … right here in Pascagoula, Mississippi».

Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121) and USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123).

«Two days ago, when the United States fired missiles on Syria, the two ships that fired those missiles were made right here at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula», said Philip Gunn, Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives. «So, as you can see, between World War II and as recently as two days ago and every point in between, Ingalls shipyard has been an integral part of providing freedom. Every one of us ought to feel the weight of that, every one of us ought to be grateful for that, and every one of us ought to be proud of what takes place at Ingalls».

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that 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. DDGs 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.

Ingalls shipbuilders raise the flag on Paul Ignatius (DDG-117)
Ingalls shipbuilders raise the flag on Paul Ignatius (DDG-117)

 

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 90 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

Christening of Paul Ignatius (DDG-117)

 

Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS

 

Flight III

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. GDBIW
DDG-125 Jack H. Lucas HIIIS
DDG-126 Louis H. Wilson, Jr. GDBIW