Category Archives: Navy

5th FREMM Frigate

On 16 March 2016, DCNS delivered the FREMM frigate D653 Languedoc intended for the French Navy, on the occasion of the acceptance ceremony by OCCAR (L’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d’Armement) on behalf of the French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement). This event once again demonstrates the industrial success of the largest European naval defence programme. The FREMM frigates are amongst some of the highest-performance latest-generation combat vessels on the market and have already won over three client Navies.

DCNS delivers its 5th FREMM frigate, Languedoc
DCNS delivers its 5th FREMM frigate, Languedoc

FREMM D653 Languedoc is the fifth unit to be built by DCNS and the third intended for the French Navy. The frigate was officially accepted by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation), an international organisation for the through-life management of cooperative defence equipment programmes, which has the role of contracting authority for FREMMs intended for France and Italy. The ceremony was presided over by the Director of OCCAR, Timothy Rowntree, and the Armaments Engineer-General, Laurent Sellier, Director of the DGA’s «Armaments Naval Operations» management unit, and in the presence of Pierre Legros, Director of Programmes at DCNS.

The official acceptance of the FREMM Languedoc is a demonstration of the satisfaction of the operational personnel that had the opportunity to test its exceptional military qualities in multiple operations theatres. At the start of the year, the D650 Aquitaine and D652 Provence FREMMs participated in the Task Force 50 actions in the Persian-Arabian Gulf, at the sides of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, designed, built and maintained by DCNS.

These front-line frigates also won over the Royal Moroccan Navy in 2014 and the Egyptian Navy in 2015.

The operational deployments and international successes of this latest-generation frigate demonstrate the capacity of DCNS to design, build and maintain competitive, high-tech vessels, which are perfectly suited to the needs of its clients.

The FREMMs are the first vessels in Europe to deploy the naval cruise missile (MdCN) for which the first firing took place on 19 May 2015 from the FREMM D650 Aquitaine.

«The delivery of the FREMM D653 Languedoc represents an opportunity to highlight the serial effects of a programme that DCNS clients can take advantage of», notes Anne Bianchi, Director of the FREMM programme at DCNS. «With this fifth unit, DCNS has again improved its industrial and economic performance. It was possible to reduce the duration of the sea acceptance trials for the D653 Languedoc frigate to five weeks, thanks to the experience acquired for the FREMMs already delivered. The DCNS teams and our partners have, in effect, attained an unprecedented level of vessel completion even before its first sea outing», she underlines.

The FREMM programme represents today the construction of ten vessels, of which eight for the French Navy. Six FREMMs will have been delivered to the French Navy before mid-2019, in accordance with the 2015-2019 military programming law. DCNS is currently completing the FREMM D654 Auvergne, which was floated on 2 September 2015, and is pursuing the assembly of the FREMM D655 Bretagne. Work has started on the eighth FREMM in the series, the D656 Normandie. Last but not least, DCNS is finalising the design of two FREMMs with strengthened anti-aircraft capacities, the delivery of which is slated for 2022.

Heavily armed, the FREMMs deploy the most effective weapon systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the naval cruise missile (MdCN), the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles or the MU 90 torpedoes
Heavily armed, the FREMMs deploy the most effective weapon systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the naval cruise missile (MdCN), the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles or the MU 90 torpedoes

 

Overview of the FREMM series

  • D650 Aquitaine, first in the series, delivered in 2012
  • Mohammed VI (701), delivered to the Royal Moroccan Navy in 2014
  • D652 Provence delivered in June 2015
  • Tahya Misr (FFG-1001), delivered to the Egyptian Navy in June 2015
  • D653 Languedoc delivered on 16 March 2016
  • D654 Auvergne, D655 Bretagne and D656 Normandie to be delivered in 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Two FREMMs with strengthened anti-aircraft capacities to be delivered in 2021 and 2022
Languedoc, the French navy’s third FREMM-class frigate, sails out of Lorient for its initial sea trials, which will test its propulsion and navigations systems. Six of these ships will be delivered by 2019 (DCNS photo)
Languedoc, the French navy’s third FREMM-class frigate, sails out of Lorient for its initial sea trials, which will test its propulsion and navigations systems. Six of these ships will be delivered by 2019 (DCNS photo)

 

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

 

SIMBAD – Final Trials

MBDA has successfully completed two Mistral firings using a SIMBAD-RC firing post. These trials represent the last technical milestone before delivery to its first customer. They served to validate the interface between the missile and the new twin-launcher, confirming the correct departure of the missile from the firing post, as well as the system’s ability to carry out salvo firings.

Trial on SIMBAD-RC firing post
Trial on SIMBAD-RC firing post

The two firings were carried out using two different launch trajectories. Tests in different mechanical and climatic environments will complete the qualification of the system.

The SIMBAD-RC is a remotely-controlled, very short range naval air defence system that provides highly efficient capabilities against a wide range of threats, from fighter aircraft through to anti-ship missiles or small-sized threats such as Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). SIMBAD-RC gives an easy to set up, self-defence capability to patrol vessels and support craft, or complements the air defence capabilities of other ship types. Each turret supports two ready-to-fire missiles. The turrets are remotely-operated and so allow the operator to remain under cover, thereby ensuring longer operational availability in case of a combat alert.

Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, said: «The SIMBAD-RC programme illustrates how MBDA helps customers leverage their previous acquisitions. Starting from a market standard such as the Mistral missile, of which more than 17,000 have been produced and are in service in nearly 30 countries worldwide, we have built a simple to operate and highly automated system that greatly improves the operational use of the missiles already in service».

SIMBAD-RC is featuring an automatic launcher remotely controlled from an interior terminal
SIMBAD-RC is featuring an automatic launcher remotely controlled from an interior terminal

 

Guidance

  • Passive IR homing guidance
  • Proportional navigation guidance
  • Trajectory shaping
  • Self-spinning airframe
  • Control by canard fins

Fire and Forget

Engagement of targets is fully autonomous and is performed by the outstanding infrared homing head of the MISTRAL missile

  • Great accuracy and efficiency
  • No man in the loop
  • Simplicity of operation, low training and maintenance
  • No dedicated fire control system on board

Short reaction time

  • The system is optimised to counter any air target at short notice
  • Firing sequence: less than five seconds
  • High speed missile – short time to intercept

Multi-target

Especially designed for modern naval warfare, MISTRAL can cope with:

  • Head on targets
  • Manoeuvring targets
  • Aircraft before they release conventional armaments
  • Sea skimming and manoeuvring anti-ship missiles
  • Helicopters

96% success rate

96% kill efficiency rate demonstrated during user firings is due to:

  • Outstanding sea and ground clutter rejection by the MISTRAL seeker
  • Interception under a trajectory shaping profile
  • MISTRAL terminal effectiveness: outstanding guidance accuracy – proximity and impact fuzes – 6.6 lbs/3 kg warhead very high reliability
SIMBAD-RC offers a range of turret/SMU-RC configurations and system integration schemes
SIMBAD-RC offers a range of turret/SMU-RC configurations and system integration schemes

 

CHARACTERISTICS

SYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS
Weight 1,102 lbs/500 kg
Bearing +/- 160°
Elevation -15° to +65°
MISSILE CHARACTERISTICS
Weight 43.4 lbs/19.7 kg
Length 6.1 feet/1.86 m
Diameter 3.54 inch/90 mm
Warhead 6.6 lbs/3 kg
Maximum speed Mach 2.5

 

SIMBAD-RC is an extremely simple and lightweight MBDA’s system configured for two MISTRAL missiles

Fire Test of SeaRAM

Sailors of USS Porter (DDG-78), a guided-missile destroyer stationed in Rota, Spain, successfully completed a live-fire test from a SeaRAM missile system March 4. SeaRAM, which replaced Porter’s aft Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) mount, is a self-contained detect-to-engage ship self-defense capability that combines the sensor systems of a CIWS with an 11-round Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher.

The SeaRAM was installed aboard USS Porter (DDG-78) in response to a formal Urgent Operational Need for forward-deployed naval forces in Europe; four DDGs deployed in Europe will receive the Mk-15 SeaRAM with enhanced-capability Block 2 missiles (USN photo)
The SeaRAM was installed aboard USS Porter (DDG-78) in response to a formal Urgent Operational Need for forward-deployed naval forces in Europe; four DDGs deployed in Europe will receive the Mk-15 SeaRAM with enhanced-capability Block 2 missiles (USN photo)

«The addition of this advanced weapon system to Porter’s arsenal is extremely welcome», said Commander Andria Slough, USS Porter’s commanding officer. «It is a culmination of the cooperation of several program offices and agencies, both at sea and ashore, ensuring that out here on the front lines, we receive the capabilities we need, when we need them».

The SeaRAM installation aboard USS Porter (DDG-78) took place as a response to a formal Urgent Operational Need for forward-deployed naval forces in Europe. USS Porter (DDG-78) is the first of four DDGs to receive the Mk-15 SeaRAM Missile System equipped with enhanced capability RAM Block 2 missiles.

Additionally, the live-fire Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trial (CSSQT) represented the first cooperative effort between NAVSEA agencies and El Arenosillo Test Range off the coast of Huelva, Spain. The success of this CSSQT concluded a year’s worth of ground-breaking effort for the engineering and acquisition professionals at NAVSEA.

«This team was able to go from white paper concept to live-fire testing in 12 months», said Rear Admiral Jon Hill, of Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS). «Our weapons, ship integration, and testing experts coordinated across a number of commands and organizations to identify assets, execute critical engineering requirements, deliver equipment, complete system installation, and conduct testing on a foreign test range … all in record time; professionally and with the urgency of meeting a critical warfighting need».

PEO IWS is an affiliated Program Executive Office of the Naval Sea Systems Command. PEO IWS is responsible for spearheading surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems, and for implementing Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.

USS Porter (DDG-78) successfully conducted live-fire tests for SeaRAM (Mk-15 MOD 33) during Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials at El Arenosillo Test Range off the coast of Huelva, Spain

 

Autonomously for Months

On March 10 Boeing introduced Echo Voyager, its latest Unmanned, Undersea Vehicle (UUV), which can operate autonomously for months at a time thanks to a hybrid rechargeable power system and modular payload bay.

51-foot/15.5-meter Echo Voyager largest of three such vehicles Boeing offers
51-foot/15.5-meter Echo Voyager largest of three such vehicles Boeing offers

The 51-foot-long/15.5-meter-long vehicle is not only autonomous while underway, but it can also be launched and recovered without the support ships that normally assist UUVs. Echo Voyager is the latest innovation in Boeing’s UUV family, joining the 32-foot/9.7-meter Echo Seeker and the 18-foot/5.5-meter Echo Ranger.

«Echo Voyager is a new approach to how Unmanned Undersea Vehicles will operate and be used in the future», said Darryl Davis, president, Boeing Phantom Works. «Our investments in innovative technologies such as autonomous systems are helping our customers affordably meet mission requirements now and in the years to come».

Echo Voyager will begin sea trials off the California coast later this summer. Boeing has designed and operated manned and unmanned deep sea systems since the 1960s.

«Echo Voyager can collect data while at sea, rise to the surface, and provide information back to users in a near real-time environment», said Lance Towers, director, Sea & Land, Boeing Phantom Works. «Existing UUVs require a surface ship and crew for day-to-day operations. Echo Voyager eliminates that need and associated costs».

Boeing Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Can Operate Autonomously for Months
Boeing Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Can Operate Autonomously for Months

Murtha’s Sea Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on March 7 the successful sea trials of the company’s 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26). The ship, built at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division, spent four days in the Gulf of Mexico last week with Ingalls’ test and trials team operating the ship and performing more than 200 test events.

Ingalls Shipbuilding’s 10th amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) sails the Gulf of Mexico for Builder’s Trial (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
Ingalls Shipbuilding’s 10th amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) sails the Gulf of Mexico for Builder’s Trial (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«Overall the builder’s trial was successful, and the ship performed well», said Kari Wilkinson, Ingalls’ LPD-26 program manager. «This shipbuilding milestone is another accomplishment for a seasoned LPD production and test team that is ready to continue the learning on future LPD platforms. This team understands the important mission LPDs provide to our nation, and we look forward to delivering another fine, much-needed asset to our sailors and Marines».

Major evolutions during builder’s trials include the anchor-handling demonstration, ballast/deballast demonstration, detect-to-engage exercise, running the ship at full power and steering.

Shipbuilders will now prepare USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) for acceptance trials in April to demonstrate the same tests and operational success to the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in the second quarter of 2016.

«LPD-26 experienced an excellent builders trials», said George S. Jones, Ingalls’ vice president of operations. «This is another fine testament to the dedicated men and women of Ingalls shipbuilding and their shipbuilding talents. The USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is a quality ship, and the ability to deliver her on schedule later this year is a result of great craftsmen and the outstanding Navy partnership we have with the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast».

LPD-26 is named in honor of the late John P. Murtha, who represented Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District from 1974 to 2010. In addition to his tenured history in the House of Representatives, Murtha was also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and Reserves. He served for 37 years and received the Bronze Star with Combat «V», two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service in the Vietnam War. He retired as a colonel in 1990.

Ingalls has built and delivered nine ships in the San Antonio-class. In addition to USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26), Ingalls has the 11th LPD, USS Portland (LPD-27), under construction. USS Portland (LPD-27) launched on February 13 and will be christened on May 21. Ingalls received a $200 million advance procurement contract for the 12th ship in the class, LPD-28, in December 2015.

The San Antonio-class is the latest addition to the U.S. Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long/208-meter-long, 105-foot-wide/32-meter-wide ships are used to embark and land Marines, their equipment and supplies ashore via air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey. The ships support a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the spectrum of operations, conducting amphibious and expeditionary missions of sea control and power projection to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions throughout the first half of the 21st century.

Ingalls Shipbuilding conducted Builder Sea Trials for USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) in the Gulf of Mexico

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries
Propulsion Four sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, two shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower
Length 684 feet/208 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: 374 Sailors (28 officers, 346 enlisted) and 3 Marines. Embarked Landing Force: 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge capacity to 800
Armament Two Bushmaster II 30-mm Close in Guns, fore and aft; two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, fore and aft: ten .50 calibre/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 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, AH-1 or UH-1 helicopters
Landing/Attack Craft Two LCACs or one LCU; and 14 Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles/Amphibious Assault Vehicles
USS Portland (LPD-27) is seen here in the middle of launch early Saturday morning at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Portland is the 11th San Antonio-class landing platform dock (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)
USS Portland (LPD-27) is seen here in the middle of launch early Saturday morning at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Portland is the 11th San Antonio-class landing platform dock (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)

 

San Antonio-class

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 San Diego, California
USS Portland (LPD-27) Ingalls 02-13-2016
USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) Ingalls

 

SM-6 hits target

Raytheon Company’s Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) successfully engaged a surface target – the decommissioned USS Reuben James (FFG-57) – in a recent flight test. The test was a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s concept of «distributed lethality», employing ships in dispersed formations to increase the offensive might of the surface force and enabling future options for the joint force commander. The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) fired the SM-6 during the test; another Air Defense Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer was on station as the assist ship.

The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), configured with AEGIS Baseline 9.C1, executed the series of four missions with five SM-6 missiles for Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation, part of the final testing leading to a likely declaration of Full Operational Capability in 2017
The USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), configured with AEGIS Baseline 9.C1, executed the series of four missions with five SM-6 missiles for Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation, part of the final testing leading to a likely declaration of Full Operational Capability in 2017

The mission validated that the legacy Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) capability of the Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) family of missiles and the Mk-7 Aegis Weapon System (AWS) has successfully carried over to SM-6 and the latest Aegis Destroyer baseline 9. The investment in the Standard Missile family resulted in an affordable SM-6 effector that continues to perform beyond expectations.

«This test event demonstrated Raytheon’s decades of continued technological development and partnership with the U.S. Navy», said Dr. Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. «The ability to leverage the Standard Missile Family and the legacy AWS in newly fielded systems brings additional warfighting capability to the U.S. Fleet».

In recent testing, SM-6 has shown expanded mission capability in three key areas: Anti-Air Warfare, Sea-Based Terminal and Anti-Surface Warfare. The tri-mission capability of SM-6 continues to emphasize its value by providing additional capability beyond its original intended mission.

Raytheon has delivered more than 250 SM-6 missiles, which were deployed for the first time in 2013. The missile’s final assembly takes place at Raytheon’s state-of-the-art SM-6 and SM-3 all-up-round production facility at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

A Standard Missile-6 is loaded into a specialized container at the Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility for delivery to the U.S. Navy
A Standard Missile-6 is loaded into a specialized container at the Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility for delivery to the U.S. Navy

Benevolent Dragon

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) delivered the «Jinryu» (Benevolent Dragon) submarine to the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD) on March 7 in a ceremony held at the MHI Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works’ No.3 pier in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. The «Jinryu» (SS-507) is the seventh Soryu-class submarine supplied to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and the fourth built by MHI. MHI also built the first Soryu-class submarine, and has produced a total of 26 submarines at the MHI Kobe Shipyard over the last 70 years.

The cost of the Soryu-class submarine was estimated at $540 million
The cost of the Soryu-class submarine was estimated at $540 million

The delivery ceremony was attended by a number of MOD officials including State Minister of Defense Kenji Wakamiya, JMSDF Chief of Staff Tomohisa Takei, and Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency Commissioner Hideaki Watanabe. MHI was represented by Hisakazu Mizutani, Executive Vice President of MHI and President & CEO of MHI Integrated Defense & Space Systems.

Soryu-class submarines are the world’s largest conventionally powered submarines. They have an excellent operational track record and are equipped with state-of-the art technologies, including Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems that enable them to remain fully submerged for long periods of time, and advanced stealth technologies that make them extremely difficult to detect.

2 × 3-inch underwater countermeasure launcher tubes for launching of Acoustic Device Countermeasures (ADCs)
2 × 3-inch underwater countermeasure launcher tubes for launching of Acoustic Device Countermeasures (ADCs)

 

Specifications

Length overall 275.6 feet/84 m
Breadth 30 feet/9.1 m
Depth 33.8 feet/10.3 m
Displacement 2,950 tonnes
Submerged Displacement 4,100 tonnes
Main engine Diesel-Stirling-electric, one shaft
Maximum output 6,000 kW/8,000 PS
Maximum speed 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Complement about 65
Armament and other equipment Torpedo tubes, snorkel, submarine sonar system, etc.
6 × HU-606 21-inch/533-mm torpedo tubes with 30 reloads for: 1) Type 89 torpedo; 2) Harpoon missiles; 3) Mines
6 × HU-606 21-inch/533-mm torpedo tubes with 30 reloads for: 1) Type 89 torpedo; 2) Harpoon missiles; 3) Mines

Christening of Washington

On March 5, 2016 Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division celebrated the christening of the future USS Washington (SSN-787), the 14th Virginia-class submarine.

Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, smashed a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of Virginia-class submarine Washington (SSN-787), christening the submarine named for the Evergreen State. Washington will be the seventh Virginia-class submarine to be delivered by Newport News Shipbuilding (Photo by John Whalen/HII)
Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, smashed a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of Virginia-class submarine Washington (SSN-787), christening the submarine named for the Evergreen State. Washington will be the seventh Virginia-class submarine to be delivered by Newport News Shipbuilding (Photo by John Whalen/HII)

Ship sponsor Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, smashed a bottle of sparkling wine, dipped in the waters of Washington’s Puget Sound, across the bow to mark the christening of the submarine named for the Evergreen State.

«It seems amazing that only a year and a half ago we were laying the keel», Elisabeth said. «It is a testament to the work at Newport News and Electric Boat that we are back here so soon to christen the newest member of the fleet».

Secretary Mabus served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Other ceremony participants included Representative Randy Forbes, Republican Party, Virginia; Representative Bobby Scott, Democratic Party, Virginia; Admiral James Caldwell, director, U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program; Vice Admiral Joseph Tofalo, commander of Submarine Forces, Submarine Forces Atlantic and Allied Submarine Command; Matt Mulherin, president, Newport News Shipbuilding; and Jeffrey Geiger, president, General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Secretary Mabus highlighted the award of 10 Virginia-class submarines in the Block IV contract, the largest shipbuilding contract in U.S. Navy history, and the cost savings associated with it.

«Many things have allowed us to bring the cost down», Mabus said. «So many efficiencies by these shipyards. By giving them stability – by Congress allowing us to do this 10-ship buy at the same time so they can make the investments, employ the skilled workers, buy the materials that they need to build not just one submarine, but all 10 – it’s good for our shipbuilders, it’s good for the shipbuilding industry, it’s good for America’s Navy, and it’s good for America».

USS Washington (SSN-787) will be the seventh Virginia-class submarine delivered by Newport News. Construction began in September 2011, marking the beginning of the two-submarines-per-year build plan between Newport News and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

«Today’s ceremony marks a new chapter in the life of this submarine, which embodies years of hard work by a team committed to continuous improvement and extending its record of deliveries ahead of schedule and under budget», Geiger said. «Largely because of the Virginia-class program’s success, we are in the midst of a sustained period of increased submarine production».

Nearly 4,000 Newport News shipbuilders have worked on USS Washington (SSN-787). The submarine is on track to be delivered in 2016.

«Here at the shipyard, we’re celebrating our 130 years in business», Mulherin said. «We’ve been christening ships throughout our history, with more than 800 such ships built here. For more than a century, we’ve christened ships. The pride, patriotism and attention to every little detail is something that has been passed down from generation to generation. We are extremely proud to be a part of that tradition because we know we aren’t just celebrating a christening today, we are also celebrating the men and women who built this magnificent submarine and those who will serve aboard her».

About 2,000 people attended the christening of the Virginia-class submarine Washington (Photo by Ricky Thompson/HII)
About 2,000 people attended the christening of the Virginia-class submarine Washington (Photo by Ricky Thompson/HII)

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G(*) nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles 12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

(*) – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

Secretary Mabus highlighted the award of 10 Virginia-class submarines in the Block IV contract
Secretary Mabus highlighted the award of 10 Virginia-class submarines in the Block IV contract

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block I

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

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

SSN – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered

Nearly 4,000 Newport News shipbuilders have worked on USS Washington (SSN-787). The submarine is on track to be delivered in 2016
Nearly 4,000 Newport News shipbuilders have worked on USS Washington (SSN-787). The submarine is on track to be delivered in 2016

 

Block II

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-778 New Hampshire EB 6-21-08 10-25-08 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-779 New Mexico NNS 12-13-08 11-21-09 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-780 Missouri EB 12-5-09 7-31-10 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-781 California NNS 11-6-10 10-29-11 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-782 Mississippi EB 12-3-11 6-2-12 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-783 Minnesota NNS 10-27-12 9-7-13 Norfolk, Virginia
The ship's crest of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Washington (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)
The ship’s crest of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Washington (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)

 

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
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB Under Construction
SSN-789 Indiana NNS Under Construction
SSN-790 South Dakota EB On Order
SSN-791 Delaware NNS On Order
The first description of a U.S. warship christening is that of Constitution, «Old Ironsides», at Boston on October 21, 1797. As the ship slipped into the water, the sponsor, Captain James Sever, broke a bottle of Madeira over the bowsprit
The first description of a U.S. warship christening is that of Constitution, «Old Ironsides», at Boston on October 21, 1797. As the ship slipped into the water, the sponsor, Captain James Sever, broke a bottle of Madeira over the bowsprit

 

Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB On Order
SSN-793 Oregon EB On Order
SSN-794 Montana NNS On Order
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB On Order
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS On Order
SSN-797 Iowa EB On Order
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS On Order
SSN-799 Idaho EB On Order
SSN-800 (Unnamed) NNS On Order
SSN-801 Utah EB On Order
The submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) delivered on June 25, 2015, two and a half months ahead of schedule (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
The submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) delivered on June 25, 2015, two and a half months ahead of schedule (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

 

Block V

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-802 (Unnamed)
SSN-803 (Unnamed)
SSN-804 (Unnamed)
SSN-805 (Unnamed)
SSN-806 (Unnamed)
SSN-807 (Unnamed)
SSN-808 (Unnamed)
SSN-809 (Unnamed)
SSN-810 (Unnamed)
SSN-811 (Unnamed)
In Virginia-class SSNs, traditional periscopes have been supplanted by two photonics masts that host visible and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms
In Virginia-class SSNs, traditional periscopes have been supplanted by two photonics masts that host visible and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms

 

Block VI

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-812 (Unnamed)
SSN-813 (Unnamed)
SSN-814 (Unnamed)
SSN-815 (Unnamed)
SSN-816 (Unnamed)
USS Minnesota (SSN-783) – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered
USS Minnesota (SSN-783) – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered

Block VII

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-817 (Unnamed)
SSN-818 (Unnamed)
SSN-819 (Unnamed)
SSN-820 (Unnamed)
SSN-821 (Unnamed)

Watch an awesome time-lapse video of the rollout, flooding and launch of Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) at Newport News Shipbuilding. It’s four days of work compressed into less than two minutes.

Christening in Hamburg

The third of a total of four 125 class frigates for the German Navy was christened «Sachsen-Anhalt» on March 4 at the Hamburg site of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Following the christening of the first two frigates «Baden-Württemberg» in December 2013 and «Nordrhein-Westfalen» in April 2015 this is a further important milestone in the shipbuilding program for this frigate class. Dr. Gabriele Haseloff, wife of the premier of the state of Saxony-Anhalt after which the frigate has been named, performed the christening ceremony in the presence of high-level representatives from government, the German Navy and the companies involved.

Dr. Gabriele Haseloff, wife of the premier of the state of Saxony-Anhalt after which the frigate has been named, performed the christening ceremony
Dr. Gabriele Haseloff, wife of the premier of the state of Saxony-Anhalt after which the frigate has been named, performed the christening ceremony

The frigate «Sachsen-Anhalt» is scheduled to be handed over to the German defense procurement agency BAAINBw in early 2019. Commissioning and in-port trials of the first F125 frigate, the «Baden-Württemberg», have now advanced to the stage where sea trials can commence as planned in spring this year. Handover of the «Baden-Württemberg» to the BAAINBw is scheduled for mid-2017. The contract for the F125 program is worth around two billion euros in total.

Dr. Hans Christoph Atzpodien, member of the Management Board of ThyssenKrupp’s Industrial Solutions business area and chairman of the supervisory board of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «The F125 frigate class is a completely new type of ship. With numerous innovations and a multiple-crew strategy it is a further showcase for the leading engineering expertise of German naval shipbuilding».

The ARGE F125 consortium which was awarded the contract to build four F125 class ships for the German Navy in 2007 comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr. Lürssen Werft in Bremen. The pre-fitted bow sections are being manufactured at the Fr. Lürssen Werft shipyards in Bremen and Wolgast. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two sections and further fitting out is being carried out at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg.

The four 125 class frigates will replace the German Navy’s eight (Bremen type) 122 class frigates. The ships were developed specially for current and future deployment scenarios for the German Navy. In addition to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defense, the 125 class frigates are designed for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention/stabilization operations in the international arena. The ships are capable of remaining at sea for 24 months and thus represent the first realization of the intensive use concept, i.e. significantly increased availability in the deployment region. This capability is supported by a smaller crew and a multiple-crew strategy which permits a complete change of crew during deployment.

The third of a total of four 125 class frigates for the German Navy was christened «Sachsen-Anhalt» on March 4 in Hamburg
The third of a total of four 125 class frigates for the German Navy was christened «Sachsen-Anhalt» on March 4 in Hamburg

 

Class 125 Frigate

The Blohm+Voss Class 125 stabilisation frigate, now under construction for the German Navy, is especially designed for sustained littoral presence for the stabilisation of crisis regions.

The ship has enhanced Command and Control, boat, helicopter and shore bombardment capabilities for the support of Special Forces amphibious operations. In particular, four large, fast Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), 50 Special Forces, and two 20-feet/6-meter containers may be embarked.

The ship has palletised cargo routes for efficient replenishment and rapid operational disembarkation. Incorporating all of the tough survivability features of its predecessors, the Blohm+Voss Classes 123 and 124, the Blohm+Voss Class 125 introduces the «twoisland» concept, whereby critical Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I), sensors and effectors are split between separated superstructure «islands» forward and aft, allowing the ship to continue to fight even after severe damage.

As a world-first in frigate logistic support, the Blohm+Voss Class 125 logistic engineering has been specially tailored for the ship to remain on station in a distant theatre of operations for up to two years without base or dockyard maintenance. In this concept, the crew is rotated while the ship remains in theatre.

The four 125 class frigates will replace the German Navy's eight (Bremen type) 122 class frigates
The four 125 class frigates will replace the German Navy’s eight (Bremen type) 122 class frigates

 

Technical Data

MAIN DIMENSIONS
Length overall 149 m/489 feet
Beam maximum 18.8 m/61.7 feet
Draught 5.0 m/16.4 feet
Displacement (approximately) 7,100 t
Speed 26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
Range 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km at a speed of 18 knots/21 mph/33 km/h
PROPULSION PLANT
CODLAG Combined diesel-electric and gas
CPP (Controllable Pitch Propellers) 2
Diesels MTU 20 V 4000 4 × 3,015 kW (total 12.06 MW)
Propulsion Electric Motors 2 × 4.5 MW (total 9 MW)
Gas Turbine GE LM 2500 1 × 20 MW
COMPLEMENT
Crew 120
Supernumerary (Helicopter/Special Forces) 70
HELICOPTER
NHIndustries MH-90 2
BOATS
RHIBs (11-meter length) 4
The F125 has two 21-cell Mk-49 launchers armed with the Raytheon RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM)
The F125 has two 21-cell Mk-49 launchers armed with the Raytheon RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM)

Keel Authentication of
Cutter Kimball

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel for the company’s seventh U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756), on March 4, 2016.

Ship Sponsor Kay Webber Cochran (center) sketches her initials onto the keel plate of the National Security Cutter Kimball (WMSL-756). Also pictured are her husband, Senator Thad Cochran (left), R-Mississippi, and Ingalls Shipbuilding employee Jerry Wesley (right), who welded the initials onto the plate (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
Ship Sponsor Kay Webber Cochran (center) sketches her initials onto the keel plate of the National Security Cutter Kimball (WMSL-756). Also pictured are her husband, Senator Thad Cochran (left), R-Mississippi, and Ingalls Shipbuilding employee Jerry Wesley (right), who welded the initials onto the plate (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«Kimball, like her sister ships, is being built to the highest-quality standards with outstanding cost and schedule performance, and the NSC team is energized to make this one the best yet», said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. «The National Security Cutter is the most technologically advanced ship in the Coast Guard fleet. And the ships are truly making a difference – from outstanding performance at Rim of the Pacific exercises to the continuous record-breaking drug interdictions – the NSCs are truly making America safer. It is our honor and privilege to be building these fine ships».

The ship is named in honor of Sumner Kimball, who organized and directed the U.S. Life Saving Service and was a pioneer in organizing all of the different facilities associated with the service into what eventually would become the U.S. Coast Guard.

Admiral Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, was the ceremony’s keynote speaker. «I especially want to thank the shipbuilders because what you do today truly matters», he said. «These National Security Cutters are helping disrupt a flow of crime. Last night, the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL-750) seized its third self-propelled semi-submersible, interdicting over six tons of cocaine. That’s why we want Kimball to get to sea as soon as possible, and I know when this ship is ready, she will be ready to answer all bells».

Kay Webber Cochran, wife of Senator Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, is the ship sponsor and had her initials welded onto a steel plate to signify the keel had been «truly and fairly laid».

«To all of the outstanding folks who work so hard on these impressive National Security Cutters – the engineers, the welders, the machinists, the metal workers, the electricians and more – your excellent work is recognized internationally», Mrs. Cochran said. «Your service and pride in workmanship are the reason why Mississippi has such a long-storied shipbuilding tradition of which we are so very proud».

The fifth U.S. Coast Guard NSC, James (WMSL 754), has successfully completed acceptance trials in early May 2015. The Ingalls-built NSC spent two full days in the Gulf of Mexico proving the ship’s systems (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
The fifth U.S. Coast Guard NSC, James (WMSL 754), has successfully completed acceptance trials in early May 2015. The Ingalls-built NSC spent two full days in the Gulf of Mexico proving the ship’s systems (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

 

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
The National Security Cutter is the first new design for the service in 20 years, and features enhanced capabilities that will allow the eight-ship class to replace 12 aging high-endurance cutters that have been in service for 40 years
The National Security Cutter is the first new design for the service in 20 years, and features enhanced capabilities that will allow the eight-ship class to replace 12 aging high-endurance cutters that have been in service for 40 years

 

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  
Kimball WMSL-756 03-04-2016    
Midgett WMSL-757