Category Archives: Navy

NSC 11

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has received two fixed-price incentive contracts from the U.S. Coast Guard to build two additional National Security Cutters (NSCs) for the U.S. Coast Guard. The contract values for the a 10th and 11th ships in the program are $468.75 million for NSC-10 and $462.13 million for NSC-11.

Ingalls Shipbuilding's seventh U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756), during sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico (HII photo)
Ingalls Shipbuilding’s seventh U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756), during sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico (HII photo)

«This additional funding for two NSCs is a great accomplishment on which to end the year», said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. «The outstanding work being done by skilled men and women of Ingalls, as well as the recognition by Congress and the U.S. Coast Guard as to the important contributions these ships make to our nation’s defense, are the reason for this success. These ships provide capable assets that our Coast Guard customer uses to perform essential homeland security missions, and we look forward to delivering two more quality NSCs to help with this important work».

Ingalls has delivered seven NSCs, the flagships of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, designed to replace the 12 Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters that entered service in the 1960s. The seventh ship, USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756), will be commissioned in Hawaii on January 19.

Both the eighth ship, USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757), and the ninth, USCGC Stone (WMSL-758), are currently under construction at Ingalls. USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757) is scheduled for its first set of sea trials in the first quarter of 2019. USCGC Stone (WMSL-758) is scheduled to launch in 2019. NSCs are 418 feet/127 m long with a 54-foot/16-meter beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h, a range of 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120.

The Legend-class NSC is capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the high-endurance cutter. The cutter includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircraft. It is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the U.S. Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. This class of cutters plays an important role in enhancing the Coast Guard’s operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.

 

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
Midgett WMSL-757 01-27-2017 11-22-2017
Stone WMSL-758 09-14-2018
WMSL-759
WMSL-760

 

Keel laying

The U.S. Navy held a keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Mobile (LCS-26) at Austal USA’s shipyard on December 14.

Navy lays keel of future USS Mobile (LCS-26)
Navy lays keel of future USS Mobile (LCS-26)

The ship’s sponsor, Rebecca Byrne, wife of Representative Bradley Byrne, Republican-Alabama, authenticated the keel for the 13th Independence variant of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) during the ceremony. While keel laying traditionally represents the formal start of a ship’s construction, fabrication of the ship begins months in advance. Today, keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship’s components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.

The LCS seaframe program manager’s representative, Commander Chris Addington, commended the Austal USA shipbuilders at the event.

«With the learning and improvements that the Austal team has forged into this hull, this 13th ship of the Independence variant will certainly be the best yet», he said. «Thanks to all of you for the effort that will be put into completing this great ship that will exemplify its namesake city».

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines and swarming small craft. They are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

There are currently four other Independence variant LCSs undergoing construction at Austal USA, with three additional ships in pre-production planning.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

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

 

Independence-class

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

 

Brazilian Scorpène

On December 14, 2018, the Brazilian Navy launched its first Brazilian-built Scorpène submarine, the Riachuelo. The ceremony took place at the Itaguaí Navy base in presence of the President of the Federal Republic of Brazil and of the elected President.

The first Brazilian Scorpène submarine
The first Brazilian Scorpène submarine

 

A strategic Brazilian-French partnership

In 2009, Naval Group was entrusted by the Brazilian Navy with designing and transferring the technology for four conventional Scorpène submarines, and for the design and manufacturing assistance for the non-nuclear part of Brazil’s first nuclear-powered submarine. The contract also included the support for the construction of a naval base and a shipyard in Brazil.

The Prosub program is a key extension of the strategic defence cooperation agreement signed in December 2008 in Rio de Janeiro.

The launching of the Scorpène Riachuelo in presence of the Brazilian head of state today demonstrates the success of this program, with both the successful completion of the first submarine and of the shipyard’s infrastructure. The latter is being built by a Brazilian company, Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (CNO), based on Naval Group specifications and on the French group’s experience in the design, production engineering and in-service support of submarines.

The Riachuelo will start sea trials in 2019 for delivery in 2020. Delivery of submarines 2, 3 and 4 will then follow every 12 to 18 months.

 

Strengthening the Brazilian industrial base

Since 2012, Naval Group has done considerable work to identify, select, negotiate, qualify Brazilian service providers in order to:

  • feed the supplier database for equipment or products supplied by Naval Group to the Brazilian Navy;
  • and to present and qualify local suppliers for the future needs of the Brazilian Navy.

This work enables the Brazilian Navy to rely more and more on a sovereign national industrial base.

It also enables the Brazilian industrial ecosystem to access new markets by promoting their «Naval Group» and «Brazilian Navy» accreditation (whose image of excellence and seriousness is highly regarded in Brazil) and to avail of the know-how and experience of the French group in the fields of project management.

Finally, ICN (Itaguaí Construções Navais) will be able to call on this panel of suppliers for its own development as part of the future maintenance and support services of the submarines.

 

The Scorpène, a success story on export markets

Scorpène is the conventional submarine designed by Naval Group for the export market. It demonstrates both Naval Group’s ability to deliver best in class submarines and to conduct successful transfers of technology. Today 14 Scorpène submarines are in operational service or being built, for the Chilean Navy (2 units), the Malaysian Navy (2 units), the Indian Navy (6 units) and the Brazilian Navy (4 units).

The Scorpène design is adapted to fit each navy’s specific requirements. Thus, the Brazilian Scorpène will be slightly longer to carry a larger crew, almost double the patrol range, and be able to cover greater distances.

Scorpène is ideally suited for action and operational effectiveness. Robust and enduring, it’s an ocean-going submarine also designed for shallow waters operations. Multipurpose, it fulfils the entire scope of missions such as anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, special operations, offensive minelaying and intelligence gathering. Integrating improvements from French Barracuda-Class fast-attack submarine, Scorpène has cutting-edge capabilities.

 

Brazilian Scorpène’s characteristics

Surfaced displacement 1,600-2,000 t
Length, overall 72 m/236 feet
Submerged speed 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Diving depth > 300 m/984 feet
Autonomy > 45 days
Crew 35
Weapons total payload 18
Weapon tubes 6
Operational availability at sea > 240 days per year

 

Christening of St. Louis

The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 19, the future USS St. Louis into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard. Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor, the daughter of a decorated World War II aviator, christened USS St. Louis (LCS-19) just prior to launch.

Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor breaks a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow during the christening ceremony for the nation’s 19th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS St. Louis
Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor breaks a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow during the christening ceremony for the nation’s 19th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS St. Louis

«USS St. Louis (LCS-19) is the second ship we’ve christened and launched this year. Our shipbuilding team has truly hit its stride. We completed trials on three ships and delivered two more. Once delivered to the U.S. Navy, USS St. Louis LCS-19 will be on its way to independently completing targeted missions around the world», said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. «We remain focused on delivering these affordable ships to the fleet as quickly as possible and increasing capability with each hull».

The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future missions from deep water to the littorals. LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. USS St. Louis (LCS-19) is targeted to support the mine countermeasures mission.

Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered seven ships to the U.S. Navy. There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. This year, the Lockheed Martin-led team began construction on two ships, delivered two ships, completed sea trials for three ships and saw one delivered ship commissioned. LCS-13, the future USS Wichita, is slated for commissioning in Mayport, Florida, on January 12.

«I am thrilled and very honored to be the sponsor of the future USS St. Louis (LCS-19). The combination of my family’s military background and the enduring spirit of the great city of St. Louis make this incredibly meaningful», Taylor said. «This is the seventh ship to bear the name St. Louis, and I know that the people of our great city are extremely proud that this distinguished legacy will continue».

Littoral Combat Ship 19 (St. Louis) Christened and Launched
Littoral Combat Ship 19 (St. Louis) Christened and Launched

Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the U.S. Navy’s fleet.

  • It is fast – capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h.
  • It is automated – with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
  • It is lethal – standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
  • It is flexible – with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, integrating capabilities like the Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30-mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles targeted to meet today’s and tomorrow’s missions.

«We are proud to be building USS St. Louis LCS-19 and her sister ships at the heartland’s only naval shipyard», said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine president and CEO. «Today’s launch and christening is a testament to the hard work of more than 2,000 workers who pass through the shipyard’s gates, put on their hard hats and build American warships».

LCS-19 Christening and Launch

 

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 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)
USS Beloit (LCS-29)

 

HII launches Delaware

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has launched the recently christened Virginia-class submarine USS Delaware (SSN-791) into the water for the first time at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.

The 7,800-ton Virginia-class submarine USS Delaware (SSN-791) was moved out of a construction facility into a floating dry dock using a transfer car system (Photo by Ashley Cowan/HII)
The 7,800-ton Virginia-class submarine USS Delaware (SSN-791) was moved out of a construction facility into a floating dry dock using a transfer car system (Photo by Ashley Cowan/HII)

During a three-day process that began last Wednesday, the 7,800-ton submarine was moved out of a construction facility and 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. Once in the water, the boat then was moved to the shipyard’s submarine pier for final outfitting, testing and crew certification.

«Successfully launching Delaware into the water, the first time is a proud moment for the Virginia-class submarine team and the thousands of dedicated shipbuilders involved in constructing the ship», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «With this significant key event behind us, we look forward to completing construction and sea trials next year so this great warship can join the fleet and defend our nation».

USS Delaware (SSN-791) is the 18th Virginia-class submarine built as part of the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat and the ninth to be delivered by Newport News. More than 10,000 shipbuilders from Newport News and Electric Boat have participated in Delaware’s construction since the work began in September 2013. The submarine was christened by Jill Biden, the former Second Lady of the United States and the ship’s sponsor, during a ceremony in October.

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. Virginia-class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These 377-foot/114.8-meter long 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.

Following testing, USS Delaware (SSN-791) is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy next year.

Huntington Ingalls launches Virginia Class submarine Delaware

 

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 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 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16 03-17-18 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17 09-29-18 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-790 South Dakota EB 10-14-17
SSN-791 Delaware NNS 10-20-18

 

Sea trials

The second of the Navy’s next-generation patrol ships will debut in Portsmouth in the New Year after successfully completing her maiden sea trials.

HMS Medway (P223) makes headway as new patrol ship completes sea trials
HMS Medway (P223) makes headway as new patrol ship completes sea trials

HMS Medway (P223) spent 15 days in the Firth of Clyde tested her engines, manoeuvrability, sensors and main cannon under a mixed civilian/Royal Navy crew under Admiralty Trials Master Captain Graham Baxter.

The ship is the second of five 2,000-tonne River-class 2.0 vessels built for patrol duties in home waters and beyond by BAE Systems on the Clyde.

After more than a year being fitted out at Scotstoun, the ship headed down the Clyde and into its estuary for a busy trials programme.

Throughout the trials package, all onboard systems were put through their paces including the Integrated Platform Management System, which controls and monitors most of the ship’s systems, and the Combat Management System which is used to collate sensor information and assist the command team in the decisions they make when in action.

The Automated Small Calibre Gun, the 30-mm cannon on the forecastle, fired rounds at a ‘killer tomato’ inflatable target with impressive accuracy and the off-ship fire monitors tested correctly.

Ship handling trials such as manoeuvrability, speed and range trials generated a lot of interest onboard, as HMS Medway (P223) was taken to the upper limits of performance.

«It was great to finally get to sea on Medway», said marine engineer Chief Petty Officer Will Davies. «The small Royal Navy team benefited from the experience and had a lot of opportunities to improve their ship and systems knowledge. The whole trials package was really positive».

Weapon engineer Chief Petty Officer Luke Travell added: «Achieving so much during our trials period really shows how much effort we have all put in. BAE, ship’s staff and all the contractors should be really proud».

Lieutenant Commander Ben Power – Medway’s first sea-going Commanding Officer – said the small ship presented a superb sight as she manoeuvred deftly in the Firth of Clyde. «She is a hugely-capable ship which will add flexibility and strength to the offshore patrol vessel force», he added.

HMS Medway (P223) is now back in Scotstoun undergoing a final period of planned maintenance and tweaks, as well as processing and analysing results from the trials to meet criteria which will her allow her to be accepted by the Royal Navy, before she sails down to her future home of Portsmouth in 2019.

Acceptance Trials

The future USS Billings (LCS-15) successfully completed its acceptance trials December 7 after a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations on the Great Lakes for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.

Future USS Billings (LCS-15) completes acceptance trials
Future USS Billings (LCS-15) completes acceptance trials

Acceptance trials is the last significant milestone before the ship is delivered to the U.S. Navy. During the trial, the U.S. Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling capabilities and auxiliary systems.

«The successful completion of these acceptance trials is an important step in the life of the future USS Billings», said LCS program manager Captain Mike Taylor. «I look forward to the next phase of Billings’s journey when she is delivered to the Navy in early spring 2019».

Following delivery and commissioning, USS Billings (LCS-15) will sail to her Florida homeport in Mayport with sister ships USS Milwaukee (LCS-5), USS Detroit (LCS-7), USS Little Rock (LCS-9), USS Sioux City (LCS-11) and the future USS Wichita (LCS-13).

Seven more Freedom-variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, Wisconsin. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) was christened in April, and the future USS St. Louis (LCS 19) is scheduled to be christened on December 15.

Additional ships in the production phase include the future USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS-21), USS Cooperstown (LCS-23), USS Marinette (LCS-25) and USS Nantucket (LCS-27), with USS Beloit (LCS-29) in the pre-production phase.

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

 

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   Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017   Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018    
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017      
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018      
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018      
USS Marinette LCS-25        
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)        
USS Beloit (LCS-29)        

The third and final

The future USSLyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) was launched December 9 at General Dynamics-BathIron Works shipyard.

BATH, Maine (December 9, 2018) Following a multi-day process that includes moving the ship from the land level facility to the dry dock, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is made ready before flooding of the dry dock at General Dynamic-Bath Iron Works shipyard, and subsequent launching of the third Zumwalt-class destroyer (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works/Released)
BATH, Maine (December 9, 2018) Following a multi-day process that includes moving the ship from the land level facility to the dry dock, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is made ready before flooding of the dry dock at General Dynamic-Bath Iron Works shipyard, and subsequent launching of the third Zumwalt-class destroyer (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works/Released)

The process of launching a ship is a multi-day process that includes moving the ship from the land level facility to the dry dock which is then slowly flooded until the ship is afloat. With the ship in the water, final outfitting and production can commence.

«It’s important for the DDG-1000 program and shipyard to reach this major milestone», said Captain Kevin Smith, DDG-1000 program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «With the first two ships of the class underway, we are excited to continue the next phase of construction of the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002)».

Zumwalt-class destroyers feature a state-of-the-art electric propulsion system, wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth design and are equipped with the most advanced warfighting technology and weaponry. These ships will be capable of performing a range of deterrence, power projection, sea control, and command and control missions while allowing the Navy to evolve with new systems and missions.

«The crew of Lyndon B. Johnson looks forward to bringing this great warship honoring our 36th President to life, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to be present for this important step in the ship’s construction», said Captain Jeremy Gray, prospective commanding officer, USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002). «It is truly impressive to see the ship afloat in the Kennebec River for the first time and we look forward to taking her to sea».

The future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) is the third and final DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class ship, and is scheduled to be christened in the spring of 2019.

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.

Dreadnought
programme

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced a £400 million funding boost for the Dreadnought programme, as he opened a new training academy and revealed the name of the second Dreadnought submarine.

An artist's impression of HMS Dreadnought (Credit: BAE Systems)
An artist’s impression of HMS Dreadnought (Credit: BAE Systems)

The planned funding release, which supports the building phase of the programme, came as the Defence Secretary unveiled a £25 million BAE Systems academy that will upskill employees to work on Royal Navy submarines for the next two decades.

The £400million investment will safeguard more than 8,000 jobs in Barrow and across the UK, which are all supported by the £31billion Dreadnought programme and supply chain.

The announcement was made during the Defence Secretary’s visit to BAE Systems’ site in Barrow-in-Furness, where he also named the second Dreadnought submarine as HMS Valiant.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «Next year marks half-a-century since British nuclear-armed submarines began patrolling the waters in response to the danger posed by the Cold War – and the world is again facing a raft of intensifying threats. This £400m investment will ensure the Dreadnought programme remains on track, so we continue to have a nuclear deterrent at sea for decades to come. Not only does today’s news see us safeguard 8,000 jobs right now, but I have also opened a brand new multi-million-pound facility to train Britain’s submarine engineers of the future».

The last vessel to carry the name HMS Valiant was the second Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine.

Launched in 1963, she took part in the Navy’s first tactical exercise under the Arctic ice and played an important role in the Falklands War, deterring the Argentine surface fleet from closing the islands.

The latest investment comes after £960 million worth of contracts were announced in May to ramp up the current phase of construction for the UK’s four nuclear-armed Dreadnought submarines.

Submarine Delivery Agency Chief Executive Ian Booth said: «The Academy for Skills and Knowledge is essential in developing the vast range of talent in Barrow and ensures that the workforce is equipped with the best possible tools needed to meet the ever-growing demands placed on the UK’s submarine construction industry».

The Submarine Academy for Skills and Knowledge will provide around 2,500 people a month – including 600 apprentices from across industry and the Ministry of Defence – with invaluable skills and training to benefit the work carried out on the Dreadnought and Astute submarine programmes.

Cliff Robson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: «This is a fantastic facility that will provide a unique environment in which to train our growing workforce. Our investment in skills will not only ensure we have a pipeline of world-class talent available to deliver our complex programmes, but will also positively contribute to the economic prosperity of the region and the UK’s engineering industry. The new academy will give our current and future workforce access to the very latest in learning and development, demonstrating our lasting commitment not just to our current employees but to those who will join our company in years to come».

Today’s funding announcement comes a year after the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which set out a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

It demonstrates how defence is building a Britain fit for the future – how we will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.

Heavy punch

Adding to the Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessels’ (USV) capability to mount and launch light weight torpedoes, Elbit Systems ISTAR division has teamed with Leonardo to develop and demonstrate Leonardo’s lightweight and mini torpedoes launching capabilities from the USV. The two companies announced the agreement at Exponaval (Valparaiso, Chile, 4-7 December).

Fitting torpedoes to small, unmanned boats like Elbit’s Seagull gives small boat swarms a heavy punch at very low cost, and would allow large numbers of such boats to overwhelm the defenses of large ship formations such as carrier groups (Elbit photo)
Fitting torpedoes to small, unmanned boats like Elbit’s Seagull gives small boat swarms a heavy punch at very low cost, and would allow large numbers of such boats to overwhelm the defenses of large ship formations such as carrier groups (Elbit photo)

The solution will be based on the same architecture used for airborne torpedo launching systems. Operational with the Israeli Navy, Elbit Systems’ Seagull USV performed superbly in the Belgian Defence Ministry 2017 North Sea trials and has been participating regularly in international naval exercises conducting Mine Counter Measures and Anti-Submarine Warfare missions.

Leonardo holds a strategic market position in the design, production and integration of torpedoes with over 30 Countries having selected its systems.