Category Archives: Navy

Christening of McCool

The U.S. Navy christened its newest amphibious transport dock, the future USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29), during a 9 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, June 11, at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls Division shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29)
U.S. Navy christened Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29)

The principal speaker is Undersecretary of the U.S. Navy Erik Raven. Additional speakers include Lieutenant General David Bellon, commander, United States Marine Corps Reserve and Marine Corps Forces, South; Vice Admiral Randy Crites, deputy chief of naval operations for integration of capabilities and resources; and Ms. Kari Wilkinson, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding. In a time-honored Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsors and granddaughters of its namesake, Shana McCool and Kate Oja, christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

The ship is named in honor of Navy veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, retired Captain Richard Miles McCool, Jr., who was awarded the Medal of Honor for the heroism he displayed June 10 and 11, 1945, in coordinating damage control and rescue operations after a series of Japanese kamikaze aircraft attacks during the Battle of Okinawa. On June 10, 1945, his leadership efforts greatly assisted in evacuating survivors from a sinking destroyer. After his ship was struck by a kamikaze June 11, 1945, then Lieutenant McCool, Jr., despite suffering from shrapnel wounds and painful burns, led vigorous damage control efforts to save his ship from destruction and personally rescue Sailors trapped in blazing compartments. McCool passed away on March 5, 2008.

«We christen the future USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29), recognizing a Medal of Honor awardee and true American hero for his unwavering devotion to duty and service to our country», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro. «This historic occasion brings us one step closer to ‘manning the rails’ with the men and women who will carry on the proud naval tradition of defending our nation and working towards a more peaceful world».

The future USS Richard M. McCool, Jr. (LPD-29) is the 13th San Antonio-class ship, designed to support embarking, transporting, and bringing elements of 650 Marines ashore by landing craft or air-cushion vehicles. A flight deck hangar further enhances the ship’s capabilities, which can support the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22).

San Antonio-class ships can support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups, or joint task forces. These capabilities allow the U.S. Navy to protect America’s security abroad and promote regional stability and preserve future peace.

 

Ship Facts and Characteristics

Propulsion Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, two shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower/31,021 kW
Length 684 feet/208.5 m
Beam 105 feet/32 m
Displacement Approximately 24,900 long tons/25,300 metric tons full load
Draft 23 feet/7 m
Speed In excess of 22 knots/24.2 mph/38.7 km/h
Crew Ship’s Company: 380 Sailors (29 officers, 351 enlisted) and 3 Marines. Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800
Armament Two Mk-46 30-mm close in Guns, fore and aft; two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, fore and aft: ten .50 caliber/12.7-mm machine guns
Aircraft Launch or land two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters or two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft or up to four AH-1 Cobra or UH-1Y Venom helicopters
Landing/Attack Craft Two Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) or one Landing Craft Utility (LCU); and 14 Amphibious Assault Vehicles

 

San Antonio-class

 

Flight I

Ship Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS San Antonio (LPD-17) Avondale 07-12-2003 01-14-2006 Norfolk, Virginia
USS New Orleans (LPD-18) Avondale 12-11-2004 03-10-2007 San Diego, California
USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) Ingalls 11-19-2004 12-15-2007 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Green Bay (LPD-20) Avondale 08-11-2006 01-24-2009 San Diego, California
USS New York (LPD-21) Avondale 12-19-2007 11-07-2009 Norfolk, Virginia
USS San Diego (LPD-22) Ingalls 05-07-2010 05-19-2012 San Diego, California
USS Anchorage (LPD-23) Avondale 02-12-2011 05-04-2013 San Diego, California
USS Arlington (LPD-24) Ingalls 11-23-2010 02-08-2013 Norfolk, Virginia
USS Somerset (LPD-25) Avondale 04-14-2012 05-01-2014 San Diego, California
USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) Ingalls 11-02-2014 10-08-2016 San Diego, California
USS Portland (LPD-27) Ingalls 02-13-2016 12-14-2017 San Diego, California
USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) Ingalls 03-28-2020
USS Richard M. McCool (LPD-29) Ingalls 01-05-2022

 

Flight II

Ship Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Harrisburg (LPD-30) Ingalls
USS Pittsburgh (LPD-31) Ingalls

 

Christening of Calhoun

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) christened Legend-class National Security Cutter (NSC) USCGC Calhoun (WMSL-759) on June 4, 2022 at the company’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division.

USCGC Calhoun (WMSL-759)
HII christens National Security Cutter USCGC Calhoun (WMSL-759)

USCGC Calhoun (WMSL-759) is named to honor Charles L. Calhoun, the first master chief petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Calhoun served in the U.S. Navy for three years during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1946 as a torpedoman second class. He enlisted in the Coast Guard that same year and held varying positions of leadership over the course of his career.

«Today’s christening is an acknowledgement of an important and valued partnership between our shipyard and the United States Coast Guard», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson said. «We consider it a privilege to build these magnificent ships and as shipbuilders, we are humbled to further Master Chief Calhoun’s legacy».

The keynote speaker was commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Linda Fagan, who was recently appointed to lead the United States Coast Guard and is the armed forces’ first female service chief.

«I’m super proud of the Ingalls team, I know how much heart and soul goes into building a ship like this», Fagan said. «These national security cutters are absolutely vital to our national security and economic prosperity. We are a global coast guard, forward deployed – conducting exercises with maritime forces, strengthening security partnerships and maritime governance in critical parts of the world right now».

Christina Calhoun Zubowicz, ship sponsor and granddaughter of the namesake, christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«On behalf of the Calhoun family, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation for the tremendous work being done here at Ingalls Shipbuilding», Zubowicz said. «Rest assured that my grandfather would be admiring this ship with great pride today knowing that his name would continue his life’s work of carrying out Coast Guard missions».

United States Representative Steven Palazzo joined Ingalls Shipbuilding to celebrate the ship christening.

«The national security cutters coming out of Ingalls are contributing greatly to our national security, stemming the flow of drugs throughout our oceans, and proving that we have the best shipbuilders right here in south Mississippi», Palazzo said. «Congratulations to everyone at Ingalls on another successful christening, and I look forward to seeing the USCGC Calhoun (WMSL-759) in action».

Ingalls Shipbuilding is the sole designer and provider of the Coast Guard Legend-class national security cutter. The flagship of the Coast Guard fleet, national security cutters are capable of embarking and supporting a wide range of Coast Guard, Navy and NATO manned and unmanned aircraft. National security cutters have proven to be ideal platforms for drug interdiction, global illegal fishing, disaster relief and defense support operations.

Ingalls has delivered nine Legend-class national security cutters, and two more are under construction. Calhoun, the 10th national security cutter, is scheduled to be delivered early next year.

 

Facts

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

 

Ship list

Ship Hull Number Laid down Launched Commissioned
Bertholf WMSL-750 03-29-2005 09-29-2006 08-04-2008
Waesche WMSL-751 09-11-2006 07-12-2008 05-07-2010
Stratton WMSL-752 07-20-2009 07-23-2010 03-31-2012
Hamilton WMSL-753 09-05-2012 08-10-2013 12-06-2014
James WMSL-754 05-17-2013 05-03-2014 08-08-2015
Munro WMSL-755 10-07-2013 09-12-2015 04-01-2017
Kimball WMSL-756 03-04-2016 12-17-2016 08-24-2019
Midgett WMSL-757 01-27-2017 11-22-2017 08-24-2019
Stone WMSL-758 09-14-2018 10-04-2019 03-19-2021
Calhoun WMSL-759 07-23-2021 04-03-2022
Friedman WMSL-760

 

USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826)

General Dynamics Electric Boat conducted a keel laying ceremony for the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826) at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, June 4.

USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826)
USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826)

Keel laying is an event in which the initials of the boat’s sponsor are welded onto a plate attached to the submarine, signifying a major milestone in the construction of a boat.

District of Columbia is the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine being constructed in the minimum 12-ship class, which will replace the existing 14 Ohio-class nuclear-ballistic submarine force due to begin retiring from service in 2027.

Admiral Daryl Caudle, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, highlighted the significance of ballistic missile submarines as the most survivable leg of the U.S. military’s nuclear triad.

«As every ballistic-missile submarine has since the keel laying of USS George Washington (SSBN-598) here at Electric Boat in November 1958 – the District of Columbia, and all those in its class will continue to serve as the most survivable leg of the nuclear triad – standing constant watch far beneath the waves, as we have done for over 63 years – a stalwart deterrent against those who would seek to do the unspeakable», said Caudle.

Caudle also spoke on the keel laying of District of Columbia as a historic occasion in ensuring American’s freedom and way of life for the foreseeable future.

«Laying the keel of the future USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826) truly is a historic occasion – not only for the countless designers, welders, metal workers, electricians, and master craftsmen whose unmatched expertise, ingenuity, hard work, and dedication will bring this modern marvel to life – but for the future Sailors who will prowl the deep inside her hull, protecting our nation, deterring strategic attacks, and ensuring our freedom and way of life for decades to come», said Caudle.

Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro, the event’s principal speaker, echoed Caudle’s sentiment on the importance of the Columbia-class being the largest, most capable and most advanced submarine produced by the U.S. as an insurance policy.

«As Admiral Caudle detailed, the Columbia class will be the cornerstone of our strategic deterrence, the ultimate guarantor of our National Security», said Del Toro. «Our strategic submarines represent approximately 70 percent of America’s deployed nuclear arsenal».

Del Toro continued to speak on the need to modernize our Submarine Force to ensure the safety and security of the world.

«Potential adversaries know the silent service is on patrol at this very moment, but they don’t know where and that protects us all», said Del Toro. «The venerable Ohio-class that has guarded us for decades is nearing the end of its service life. For the safety of our Sailors, and the security of our world, we must modernize our fleet, and our nuclear command, control, and communications systems».

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), the boat’s sponsor and the delegate to the House of Representatives from the ship’s name, the USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826), attended the ceremony. Her initials were welded onto a plate by Electric Boat welder Maria Betance-Pizarro. «As a third-generation Washingtonian, I am excited and honored to be the sponsor of the future USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826)», said Norton. «I look forward to meeting and establishing relationships with the men and women who will serve aboard her».

The U.S. Navy, alongside Electric Boat, began the conceptual designs for Columbia in 2007 as a replacement for the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines. The Columbia-class will carry 16 missiles each, which in total represents approximately 70 percent of the U.S. nuclear triad.

The Columbia-class remains the U.S. Navy’s number one acquisition priority and is scheduled to see its first delivery in 2027. The transition from the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines to the new Columbia-class will ensure continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.

At a length of 560 feet/170.7 m and displacing 20,810 long tons/metric tons 21,144, the USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826) will be the largest submarine ever built by the U.S. Its reactor will not require refueling during the lifetime of planned service making the ship more cost-effective to operate and maximizing its time in deployment. In addition to its complement of missiles, the submarine will be armed with Mk-48 torpedoes and will feature superior acoustic performance and state-of-the-art sensors to make it the most capable and quiet submarine ever built.

The Submarine Force executes the Department of the U.S. Navy’s mission in and from the undersea domain. In addition to lending added capacity to naval forces, the Submarine Force, in particular, is expected to leverage those special advantages that come with undersea concealment to permit operational, deterrent and combat effects that the Navy and the nation could not otherwise achieve.

The Submarine Force and supporting organizations constitute the primary undersea arm of the U.S. Navy. Submarines and their crews remain the tip of the undersea spear.

Columbia-Class
The Keel Laying Ceremony

 

Ship statistics

Type Ballistic missile submarine (SSBN)
Displacement (submerged) 20,810 long tons/metric tons 21,144
Length 560 feet/170.7 m
Hull Diameter 43 feet/13.1 m
Speed 20+ knots/23+ mph/37 km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Range Unlimited
Complement 155 (accommodation)
Propulsion Nuclear, Electric Drive
Missile Tubes 16
Weapons System Trident II D5 (LE)

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

Name Laid down Christened Commissioned Homeport
USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826) 06-04-2022
USS Wisconsin SSBN-827
SSBN-828
SSBN-829
SSBN-830
SSBN-831
SSBN-832
SSBN-833
SSBN-834
SSBN-835
SSBN-836
SSBN-837
Ballistic Missile Submarine
Keel Laying Ceremony Held for First Columbia-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine

Arctic Patrol Ships

On May 29, 2022, at Halifax Shipyard, shipbuilders, members of the Royal Canadian Navy, the federal and provincial governments as well as the families of two Canadian naval heroes marked another shipbuilding milestone with the official naming of HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431) and HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432).

Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS)
Halifax Shipyard Marks Major Milestone with the Joint Naming Ceremony of HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431) and HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432)

Both ships are part of the fleet of six (6) Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) being delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships are large, ice-capable ships, more than 100 metres/328 feet long, and designed to conduct a variety of missions in Canada’s waters, including in the Arctic. The vessels will be capable of conducting armed sea-borne surveillance, providing government situational awareness of activities and events in these regions. They will also be able to cooperate with partners in the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments to assert and enforce Canadian sovereignty, when and where necessary.

The naming of a ship is a steeped in history and naval tradition. Dating back centuries, this ritual is believed to bring good luck and safe travel to the vessel and crew.

Allyson Brooke, the youngest niece of Margaret Brooke is the co-sponsor of HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431) along with Margaret Elizabeth Brooke (her older sister). This is the second AOPS and was delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy last summer.

Shannon Bernays is the granddaughter of Max Bernays and the sponsor of HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432), the third vessel that will be delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy this fall.

 

HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431)

AOPV 431 is named after Margaret Martha Brooke who enrolled as a Nursing Sister Dietician on March 9, 1942 at the rank of Sub-Lieutenant (SLt). She was promoted to the rank of Acting Lieutenant on July 1, 1946, then to Lieutenant (Navy) on January 1, 1948, and finally to Lieutenant-Commander on April 1, 1957. She served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1942 to 1962.

Born in 1915 in Ardath, Sask., Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Brooke studied as a dietician before the start of the Second World War and chose it as her occupation upon her enrollment.

On October 14, 1942 during a crossing of the Cabot Strait off the coast of Newfoundland, the ferry SS Caribou was torpedoed by the German submarine U-69. The ferry sank in five minutes. Fighting for her own survival, LCdr Brooke (who was a SLt at the time) did everything humanly possible to save the life of her colleague and friend, Nursing Sister SLt Agnes Wilkie, while both women clung to ropes on a capsized lifeboat. In spite of LCdr Brooke’s heroic efforts to hang on to her with one arm, her friend succumbed to the frigid water. For this selfless act, LCdr Brooke was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Following her return to civilian life, Margaret Brooke completed her university studies in paleontology at the University of Saskatchewan, where she achieved her doctorate. She was the author of numerous research studies on the subject. Margaret Brooke passed away in Victoria on January 9, 2016 at the age of 100.

«The Brooke family is very grateful to the Royal Canadian Navy for honouring our Aunt Margaret for her heroism», explained Allyson Brooke the sponsor of HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431). «She was a humble woman and did not boast about the recognition she received but I know when she was told about this great honour, she was very happy and proud. It was the perfect gift for her 100th birthday».

«The ship reflects her in many ways», Ms. Brooke explained. «She was a fighter, yet a humanitarian so, the multiple purpose capability of this ship to protect Canada when necessary but also be able to be equipped and deliver humanitarian aid when required would particularly please her».

 

HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432)

AOPV 432 is named after Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Max Bernays, a Canadian naval hero who served as the Coxswain of His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Assiniboine during the Second World War’s Battle of the Atlantic.

Max Bernays was born in 1910 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He had served in the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) in 1929 and served with Canadian National Steamships in the 1930s. Bernays was recalled by the Royal Canadian Navy at the outbreak of the Second World War. By March 1942 Bernays had achieved the rank of Acting Chief Petty Officer and was the Coxswain aboard HMCS Assiniboine, a River-class destroyer.

On August 6, 1942, during intense surface gun action against the German submarine U-210, HMCS Assiniboine manoeuvred in and out of a fog attempting to ram and sink the enemy submarine. Both vessels were firing high explosive shells at very close range, resulting in a fire that engulfed the bridge and wheelhouse of Assiniboine. Surrounded by smoke and flames while steering the ship, CPO Bernays ordered two junior sailors to get clear, leaving him alone at the helm and trapped by the blaze. Besieged by flames, he executed all the helm orders as Assiniboine maneuvered for position against the U-boat, and did the work of the two telegraphmen, dispatching over 130 telegraph orders to the engine room. Several bullets and shells penetrated the wheelhouse as the enemy concentrated their machine-gun and cannon fire on the bridge. Eventually Assiniboine rammed and sank U-210 in what was considered to be an extremely hard-fought action, during which the Canadians suffered one fatality and 13 wounded.

CPO Bernays was awarded the distinguished Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) by the British Admiralty for his valour and dauntless devotion to duty during action. He was one of only two members of the RCN to receive the CGM during the Second World War.

«Max Bernays was a proud Canadian who cared about his crewmates and loved his country», said Shannon Bernays, the sponsor of HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432). «The Bernays family is honoured by this recognition. I wish my grandfather Max could have been here. He would have been very modest about any acknowledgement of his true bravery and service. But he would have been delighted to be amongst Navy compatriots and aboard this beautiful, world-class ship. We wish the crew good health and safe travels always».

 

Quotes

«Today in Halifax we officially named two new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431) and HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432) – honouring two Canadian naval heroes. I would like to thank Irving Shipyard for their great work on these two ships that will serve in the Canadian Armed Forces for decades to come», said The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

«Nova Scotia is the best place in the world to build ships because shipbuilding is in our blood. Irving has carried on this legacy and will see that it continues long into the future. These ships were built by Nova Scotians for Canadians. They are an example of the quality Nova Scotians in the skilled trades can achieve», said Premier Tim Houston, Province of Nova Scotia

«The National Shipbuilding Strategy is creating jobs and economic activity across Canada, including locally in Halifax where the number of companies and workers benefitting from this program has increased substantially since 2015. As the next Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships to be added to the fleet, the official naming of HMCS Margaret Brooke (AOPV-431) and HMCS Max Bernays (AOPV-432) is an important milestone in our work to equip the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard with the ships they need to protect Canadian interests», said Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

«It gives me great pride to think of the naval heroes these ships are being named after, and great optimism to think of the incredible capability that they are bringing to the Royal Canadian Navy, and to Canada», said Vice-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

«This is a proud day for our team of over 2100 shipbuilders. These two ships are visible signs of the success of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. To date, the combatant fleet work at Irving Shipbuilding has generated over $4.35 billion in investments across Canada. We are also proud to be the largest employer of apprentices in Atlantic Canada as we continue to grow life-changing careers for the next generation. From our team to the crews of these fine ships we wish you fair winds and following seas», said Kevin Mooney, President of Irving Shipbuilding.

Tomahawk Block V

The UK’s stock of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) will be upgraded on Royal Navy submarines to ensure the weapon is even more effective against future threats.

Tomahawk Block V
£265 million missile upgrade for UK submarines

In a £265 million contract with the U.S. Government, with maintenance and technical support at the UK sites of BAE Systems, Babcock International and Lockheed Martin, the Royal Navy’s Astute-Class submarines will be armed with an enhanced Block V standard missile, capable of striking severe threats at a range of up to 1,000 miles/1,609 km.

The upgraded missile will be able to travel further than the previous Block IV iteration, maintaining a precision-strike capability that is unmatched in range and accuracy. The upgrade will also make the weapon less vulnerable to external threats, with modernised in-flight communication and target selection.

At approximately 5.6 m/18.4 feet long and weighing 2,200 kg/4,850 lbs. – a similar weight to a 4×4 car – the high sub-sonic Tomahawk was first introduced into UK service in 1998 and can hit in-land targets from the sea within minutes. A weapon of choice since then, it has been successfully deployed during operations in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq.

Minister for Defence (MOD) Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said: «This upgrade will equip our Astute-Class attack submarines with the one of the most lethal and precise long-range strike weapons. Enhancing this cutting-edge missile system will ensure the UK can strike severe threats up to 1,000 miles/1,609 km away. The Tomahawk missiles will be upgraded as part of a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) with the U.S. Government, which was negotiated by the MOD’s procurement arm, Defence Equipment and Support and will be active from July. Making use of existing U.S. research and expertise on the upgraded missile, the contract will mean the UK continues to receive full access to the U.S. Tomahawk programme, support package and upgrades».

DE&S Director Weapons, Ed Cutts, said: «Not only will this FMS sustain and improve a proven, crucial operational capability for any future conflicts, it will continue to ensure interoperability with our U.S. allies and the follow-on support arrangements will sustain jobs for UK industry. As Block IV is upgraded to Block V from 2024, it will modernise and improve in-flight communications and navigation, making the missile more effective against future threats around the globe. The Foreign Military Sale also includes missile maintenance, recertification of existing missiles, spares, operational flight testing, software, hardware and training provisions».

Director Submarines, Rear Admiral Simon Asquith said: «The Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile is a cutting-edge system which provides the UK with real strategic and operational choice. Able to be fired from a stealthy UK nuclear attack submarine, the system’s exceptional range, accuracy and survivability provides the UK, alongside our US Allies, with a world beating precision strike capability. The announcement builds on commitments made in the Defence Command Paper and Integrated Review, in addition to Royal Navy mission planning and weapon control system upgrades that will improve the performance of legacy Block IV missiles. Due to be operational in the mid-2020s, the upgraded Tomahawk will align with the delivery of the latest Astute submarines».

Oregon

The U.S. Navy commissioned USS Oregon (SSN-793), the newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, May 28, at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

USS Oregon (SSN-793)
U.S. Navy commissioned Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Oregon (SSN-793)

The USS Oregon (SSN-793) is the third U.S. Navy ship launched to bear the name Oregon, but is the first in more than a century. The first was a brig in service from 1841 to 1845. The second was an Indiana-class battleship commissioned in 1896, serving in the Spanish-American War, and ultimately decommissioned for the final time in 1919.

The principal speaker is Governor Katie Brown of Oregon. Additional speakers include U.S. Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut’s 2nd District; Mr. Tommy Ross, performing the duties of assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy for research, development, and acquisition; Admiral James Caldwell, director, naval nuclear propulsion program; and Mr. Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The submarine’s sponsor is Dana L. Richardson, wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson and a native of Corvallis, Oregon. Oregon was christened at General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat shipyard in Groton on October 5, 2019. Mrs. Richardson gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life».

«There is no doubt the importance this boat, named after the great state of Oregon, will play in the future of our nation’s security», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro. «This crew is vital to our undersea mission, and I look forward to all of their successes».

USS Oregon (SSN-793) is the second Block IV Virginia-class submarine to enter service, designed to carry out the core missions of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and mine warfare. These capabilities allow the submarine force to operate anywhere, at any time, and contribute to regional stability and the preservation of future peace.

Oregon is 377 feet/114.8 m long, has a 34-foot/10.4-meter beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet/244 m and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h submerged. It has a crew of approximately 136 Navy personnel.

 

General Characteristics

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

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB 10-20-18 04-18-20 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-793 Oregon EB 10-05-19 05-28-22 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-794 Montana NNS 09-12-20
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB 07-31-21
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS 11-13-21
SSN-797 Iowa EB Under Construction
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS Under Construction
SSN-799 Idaho EB Under Construction
SSN-800 Arkansas NNS Under Construction
SSN-801 Utah EB Under Construction

 

Ballistic Missile Defence

The UK will become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability that can detect and destroy Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles.

Aster 30 Block 1
Type 45 Ballistic Missile Defence upgrade to support more than 100 UK jobs

Type 45 Destroyers to receive significant upgrade as the UK to become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence detect and destroy capability.

UK have joined tri-national ASTER Block 1 missile programme with France and Italy.

Full upgrade programme worth more than £300 million, supporting more than 100 jobs, including highly skilled roles in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.

The UK is set to become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability that can detect and destroy Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles as it commits to a significant upgrade of Britain’s fleet of Type 45 destroyers.

The upgraded defence system, using the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile previously used only in French and Italian land systems, will help UK forces combat the increasing threats posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles at sea by developing the missile into a maritime variant.

The Ministry of Defence has placed an initial contract for this work with MBDA which, when delivered, will be worth more than £300 million and support more than 100 jobs across the UK – including highly skilled technology roles in areas such as system design and software engineering in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.

Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin said: «As we face global uncertainty, alliances and greater defensive capability are more important than ever. Joining our French and Italian counterparts will see us collectively improve the cutting-edge technology our armed forces possess».

It is another example of us delivering on the commitments from the Defence Command Paper, helping protect our service personnel when faced with the most severe threats.

Upgrading the defensive capability of the Type 45 fleet was committed to in the Defence Command Paper, as part of the Integrated Review last year. Being able to defend against anti-ship ballistic missiles will add to the current capability of the Destroyers to defeat threats from the air.

The signing of the tri-national agreement is the first formal step in the upgrade of the six vessels, which will include converting existing missiles to the ASTER 30 Block 1 standard, as well as updates to the SAMPSON Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and Sea Viper command and control missile system, under the full Sea Viper Evolution programme.

Sea Viper’s upgrade will boost the lethality of the Type 45 vessels, helping to ensure the Royal Navy remains poised to defend the surface fleet and the Maritime Strike Group against complex air threats both now and into the future.

DE&S CEO Sir Simon Bollom, said: «This demonstrates the UK commitment to delivering a cutting-edge maritime Air Defence Capability. Sea Viper Evolution will deliver a significant uplift in capability and brings to a close many years of detailed planning and activity by the Maritime Air and Weapons team in DE&S».

The Sea Viper Evolution programme follows the recent contract awards to introduce the Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM) into the Type 45, which will see the missile outload of the platform increased from 48 to 72 missiles.

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are among the most advanced in the fleet and carry out a range of activity, including defence from air attack, counter-piracy operations and providing humanitarian aid».

Augusta

On May 23rd, Austal USA successfully launched the 17th Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Augusta (LCS-34). Assisted by tugs, the ship was escorted out of Austal USA’s floating dry dock and secured pier side on the waterfront for machinery commissioning and system activation in preparation for sea trials later this year.

USS Augusta (LCS-34)
Austal USA launches the future USS Augusta (LCS-34)

The launch of Augusta was a multi-step process which involved lifting the 2,500-metric-ton ship almost three feet in the air, moving it approximately 400 feet/122 m onto a moored deck barge adjacent to the assembly bay – using transporters – then transferring the LCS from the deck barge to a floating dry dock. The floating dry dock was submerged with LCS-34 entering the water for the first time.

«We’re proud to announce another successful milestone achievement for the LCS program at Austal USA», stated Austal USA Vice President of New Construction, Dave Growden. «Austal USA’s team of talented shipbuilders are excited to have another LCS in the water and are looking forward to delivering her to the Navy so she can join her sister ships in the Pacific fleet».

The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

With capabilities focused on defeating global challenges in the littorals, these surface combatants are designed to provide joint force access in the littorals. LCS can operate independently or in high-threat environments as part of a networked battle force that includes multi-mission surface combatants.

Augusta is the 17th of 19 Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships that Austal USA is building for the U.S. Navy. Four LCS are under various stages of construction. Austal USA is also constructing four Expeditionary Fast Transport ships for the U.S. Navy and will begin construction on Navajo-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships this summer.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

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 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 06-20-2020 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 04-17-2021 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020 05-22-2021 San Diego, California
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018 09-08-2020 02-05-2022 San Diego, California
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020 03-30-2021
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) 10-27-2020 11-12-2021
USS Augusta (LCS-34) 07-30-2021 05-23-2022
USS Kingsville (LCS-36) 02-23-2022
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Inshore Patrol Vessel

In a ceremony held at Simons Town Naval Base, the first of three, state-of-the-art, Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs) has been handed over to the South African Navy. The vessel marks the culmination of four years of work for Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT). The vessel being delivered will augment South Africa’s maritime security by enhancing the country’s capability to respond effectively, rapidly and cost-effectively to threats such as illegal trafficking and fishing.

SAS King Sekhukhune I (P1571)
Damen Shipyards Cape Town delivers first of three Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels to South African Navy

The 62.2 m/204 feet by 11.5 m/37.7 feet vessels have been designed by Damen to deliver a rapid response capability that is both effective and cost efficient. The vessel is the first Damen Sea Axe vessel to operate in South Africa where, along with its sister ships, its primary role will be to counter piracy, illegal fishing and smuggling operations. However, their ability to accommodate at short notice containerized mission modules gives them a true multi-mission capability. The patented design delivers exceptional seakeeping behaviour with the straight-edged bow cutting through the water thereby improving comfort and safety while reducing emissions and fuel consumption.

The MMIPV project is also playing an important role in creating skilled new jobs and acting as a catalyst for the development of regional supply chains. On its own, the MMIPV project is expected to generate more than one million man-hours of work during the construction of the three MMIPVs and will support more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs at Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT). In addition, the yard is also focusing on nurturing small businesses to maximise local content.

Mr. Sam Montsi, Chairman of the Damen Shipyards Cape Town Board, commented: «The delivery is a significant milestone in the story of Damen Shipyards Cape Town. It is the first time that a naval vessel of this calibre has been built at the yard and it is also the first of its class! Despite the COVID 19 pandemic, this beautiful vessel has been built to the required quality level which is an achievement that was realised by South African people, as most of the work and materials that went into the construction were sourced locally».

«The yard has significantly grown during this process both in the quality of work and the safety standards achieved. This project has also allowed the yard to increase the impact of its transformation strategy by consistently delivering relevant development to the communities of South Africa».

 

Specifications

Length o.a. 62.2 m/204 feet
Beam o.a. 11.5 m/37.7 feet
Draught maximum 4 m/13.2 feet
Hull material Steel
Superstructure Steel/Aluminium
Propulsion 4 × Fixed pitch propellers
Endurance 48 days
Speed maximum Up to 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h

 

Littoral Combat Ship

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) in Duluth, Minnesota, May 21, 2022.

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21)
The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest littoral combat ship USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) in Duluth, Minnesota, May 21, 2022

Representative Betty McCollum, Minnesota 4th District, was the principal speaker for the commissioning ceremony.

«The strength of America’s national security, and the democratic values we hold dear, are being tested today like they have not been in decades», said McCollum. «I can think of no two names that represent that strength more than Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Together we are one team – those who built this fine ship, and those who will serve on her. It is the strength and determination of the American people that is the backbone of our national security».

The Honorable Erik Raven, Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy, reflected on attending his first commissioning ceremony. «The Twin Cities represent the Great State of Minnesota’s economic, cultural, and political center. The Twin Cities play a significant role in our nation’s economic network», said Raven. «Now, more than ever, it is fitting that a Littoral Combat Ship is named Minneapolis-Saint Paul – honoring the legacy of work and contribution of the people whose work ultimately impacts our daily lives nationwide and globally».

Vice Admiral Scott Conn, United States Navy (USN), Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Requirements and Capabilities also attended. «Thank you all for preparing LCS-21 for this day», said Conn. «I recognize how special it is to be together for this milestone, and to spend this day bringing the newest ship in our fleet to life in this way. And more so, to do it in the State of her namesake cities is unique and special».

The Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, also attended the ceremony. «This is a unique opportunity to gather ourselves as Minnesotans, and Americans», said Walz. «We’re not just a country; we’re an ideal».

Guest speakers for the event were Jon Rambeau, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors and senator of Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar.

Attendees of the ceremony were Mayor Jacob Frey, City of Minneapolis; Mayor Melvin Carter, City of Saint Paul; Mayor Emily Larson, City of Duluth; Rear. Admiral Casey Moton, Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants; Mark Vandroff, chief executive officer, Fincantieri Marinette Marine; Captain David Miller, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 2; Captain Andy Gold, Littoral Combat Ship program manager, Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants; Brian Kriese, deputy officer in charge, supervisor of shipbuilding Bath Detachment Marinette; and Matrons of Honor, Nicole Sunberg and Carly Olsen.

Representative Pete Stauber, Minnesota 8th District, assisted in placing the ship into commission. The ship’s sponsor Jodi Greene, former Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy, gave the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life».

«As a crew, you have already proven your strength and determination in getting ready for this momentous day», said Greene. «You prepared this ship to take her place in the fleet during challenging times. All eyes were on you as you continued to make this pathway».

Built by the Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) was launched and christened in on June 15, 2019. The ship completed acceptance trials, August 21, 2020, and was delivered to U.S. Navy, November 18, 2021.

«I am incredibly proud of this crew for their dedication to shipmate and ship as we worked toward the commissioning of USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul», said Commander Alfonza White, commanding officer of Minneapolis-Saint Paul. «We are honored to carry the name Minneapolis-Saint Paul into the fleet».

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) is the second naval ship to honor Minnesota’s Twin Cities although each city has been honored twice before.

The first U.S. Navy warship named Minneapolis-Saint Paul was a Los Angeles-class submarine launched in 1983 that participated in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN-708) was the first submarine to carry Tomahawk missiles specifically designed for use in strikes against Iraq during the Gulf War. Having served for over two decades with distinction, the submarine decommissioned in 2007.

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats and is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 08-03-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018 10-26-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018 08-08-2020 Mayport, Florida
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018 06-15-2019 05-21-2022 Mayport, Florida
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018 01-19-2020
USS Marinette (LCS-25) 03-27-2019 10-31-2020
USS Nantucket (LCS-27) 10-09-2019 08-07-2021
USS Beloit (LCS-29) 07-22-2020 05-07-2022
USS Cleveland (LCS-31) 06-20-2021