Network-connected ship

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Sperry Marine business unit announced the launch of CompassNet, a network-connected ship heading management system which allows for the deployment of different configurations which can be upgraded easily and affordably at the Shipbuilding, Machinery and Maritime technology show (SMM) in Hamburg, Germany.

CompassNet, a network-connected ship heading management system allows for the deployment of different configurations which can be upgraded easily and affordably at the Shipbuilding, Machinery and Maritime technology show (SMM) in Hamburg, Germany
CompassNet, a network-connected ship heading management system allows for the deployment of different configurations which can be upgraded easily and affordably at the Shipbuilding, Machinery and Maritime technology show (SMM) in Hamburg, Germany

CompassNet allows multiple ship heading management controls through the groundbreaking use of standard Ethernet connectivity to link the heading sensors and the distribution portion of the heading management system. As a fully type-approved system, it provides improved efficiency for a wide range of sensors and controls configurations from a basic setup to more complex arrangements with redundant monitoring stations. CompassNet will benefit a wide range of vessels including high-end commercial ships, cruise liners, and survey vessels as well as military support and control vessels.

«The flexibility of CompassNet, combined with a significant decrease in the cabling required, makes the system particularly attractive to shipyards for new builds», said Jeanne Usher, managing director, Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine. «The reduction in both material quantities and installation time will create lower costs for shipyards and owners».

CompassNet improves system redundancy and resiliency by offering «plug and play» functionality through the use of fewer required control and display units. With a reduction in cabling requirements of up to 80 percent, the system reduces installation and commissioning costs. Fewer connections make it easier to enhance heading management requirements with additional equipment. Functionality is further simplified through the use of two 24V DC power sources for all components. Additionally, a Sperry Marine NAVITWIN V control and display unit allows for connecting up to five heading sensors. Besides the installation process, Ethernet technology in a Sperry Marine heading management system facilitates modularity and improves reliability, operational performance and consequently navigational safety.

Fast, agile platform

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony Saturday, September 10 in Mobile, Alabama.

The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA
The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA

Montgomery, designated LCS-8, honors the city of Montgomery, Alabama, and is the second U.S. ship in our nation’s history to be named in honor of the capital of Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama was named for Richard Montgomery, a major general in the Continental Army.

U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne, Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Mary Sessions, wife of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and a Montgomery native, is serving as the ship’s sponsor.

«The commissioning of USS Montgomery is not only a celebration of the partnership we share with the people of a great southern capital, but also of our nation’s highly skilled shipbuilders who, in building ships like Montgomery – the U.S. Navy’s eighth littoral combat ship – will help us continue to grow the fleet to more than 300 ships by the end of this decade», said the Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the U.S. Navy. «This great ship, and the sailors who serve aboard her, will represent the city of Montgomery, Alabama, and our nation around the world for years to come».

While the second to be named for the Alabama capital, a total of four Navy ships have previously borne the name Montgomery. The first USS Montgomery was a sloop, or schooner, that was in service on Lake Champlain from 1813 to 1815. The second USS Montgomery was a wooden screw steamer in the Union Navy during the U.S. Civil War. USS Montgomery (C-9), the third of her name and the lead ship of her class, was an unprotected cruiser that served during the Spanish-American War and in World War I. USS Montgomery (DD-121) was a Wickes-class destroyer commissioned in 1918 and later converted to a minelayer that saw service during World War II, where she earned four battle stars for meritorious participation in battle.

Montgomery is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions in areas such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom-variant and the Independence-variant – designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS-1) while the Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

The LCS seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission modules (made up of mission systems and support equipment), which can be changed quickly. These modules combine with crew detachments and aviation assets to become complete mission packages, which will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, or surface warfare missions.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 417 feet/127.1 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

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

 

Field-proven vehicle

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK is demonstrating EAGLE, the internationally field-proven military vehicle, at DVD2016. In partnership with General Dynamics European Land Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems-UK has submitted EAGLE for the UK’s Multi Role Vehicle – Protected (MRV-P) programme.

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK Demonstrates EAGLE at DVD2016
General Dynamics Land Systems-UK Demonstrates EAGLE at DVD2016

EAGLE provides high protection and mobility on- or off-road. It is available in a range of 4×4 and 6×6 configurations and can fulfill roles such as Armoured Personnel Carrier, Ambulance, Recovery, Command, Reconnaissance and Logistics. EAGLE provides logistics commonality across its range of variants, offering lower maintenance and lifecycle costs.

EAGLE is an established product with more than 1,200 in-service with the German, Swiss and Danish Armies. In service with the British Army, there are more than 200 highly mobile and robust DURO vehicles, which, like EAGLE, are part of General Dynamics´ Light Tactical Vehicle Family. Due to recent contract awards, EAGLE platforms are currently in-production and available now for customer trial programmes.

Kevin Connell, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems-UK, said: «EAGLE is an established and trusted vehicle that is used widely by European armies. Its range of configurations, alongside its high all-terrain mobility and protection levels, makes it the ideal vehicle to meet the British Army’s MRV-P requirement. General Dynamics’ extensive expertise in the delivery and integration of wheeled military vehicle fleets means that the British Army can receive these vehicles within their desired timescales. In addition, we are committed to maximising the manufacture of these vehicles in the UK and supporting further highly-skilled jobs here in the UK».

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK is currently developing AJAX, the British Army’s first fully-digitised platform. The first AJAX platform will be delivered in 2017 from General Dynamics Land Systems-UK’s Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) facility in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.

Worldwide, General Dynamics Land Systems has a long pedigree and experience in delivering tracked and wheeled military vehicles, alongside specialist knowledge in complex, scalable Electronic Architectures. It delivers, amongst others, the Abrams main battle tank, Stryker and the Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush – Protected (MRAP) family of vehicles.

Technical Flight of LUH

Achieving yet another significant milestone, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) conducted a technical flight of indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) in Bengaluru, on September 6. The helicopter lifted at 1210 hours and was in the air for 15 minutes at HAL facilities. The flawless flight was carried out by HAL test pilots.

The Light Utility Helicopter, the third rotary-wing aircraft developed by India’s HAL, made its first flight on September 6, kicking off flight-testing (HAL photo)
The Light Utility Helicopter, the third rotary-wing aircraft developed by India’s HAL, made its first flight on September 6, kicking off flight-testing (HAL photo)

This event marks an important and significant beginning for prototype testing of LUH. This is the third indigenous helicopter product from the stables of HAL after Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). Apart from replacement of ageing fleet of Cheetah / Chetak, Light Utility Helicopter is expected to capture a sizeable share both in domestic and international market.

The LUH has a maximum All-Up-Weight (AUW) of 6,944.5 lbs/3,150 kg, fitted with Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine of 750 kW/1,006 hp power, with a range of 217.5 miles/350 km, service ceiling 21,325.5 feet/6,500 m, seating capacity of six passengers plus two pilots.

The helicopter is designed to carry out various utility roles such as reconnaissance, transport, cargo load Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. The helicopter can operate from sea level to high altitudes of Himalayas.

Maiden Flight

The first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter ordered by the Spanish Air Force has made its maiden flight, marking a key milestone towards its delivery. The aircraft, known as MSN44, took off from Seville, Spain where the A400M Final Assembly Line is located at 15:25 local time (GMT+1) on 5 September and landed back on site 3 hours and 45 minutes later.

The first Airbus A400M for the Spanish air force made its maiden flight on September 5 as scheduled. Airbus is committed to delivering it in September (Airbus photo)
The first Airbus A400M for the Spanish air force made its maiden flight on September 5 as scheduled. Airbus is committed to delivering it in September (Airbus photo)

Test-Pilot Nacho Lombo, who captained the flight, said after landing: «As always, the aircraft was a pleasure to fly. I am confident that its unique combination of strategic and tactical capabilities will have a transformational effect on the Spanish Air Force’s air mobility operations as it has done in other countries already». The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in the coming weeks. Photos show MSN44 taking off and during its maiden flight.

 

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
Overall Length 45.10 m/148 feet
Overall Height 14.70 m/48 feet
Wing Span 42.40 m/139 feet
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 17.71 m/58 feet
Cargo Hold Height 3.85-4.00 m/12 feet 7 inch-13 feet
Cargo Hold Width 4.00 m/13 feet
Cargo Hold Volume 340 m3/12,000 feet3
WEIGHTS
Maximum Take Off Weight 141,000 kg/310,850 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 123,000 kg/271,200 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 50,500 kg/111,300 lbs
Maximum Payload 37,000 kg/81,600 lbs
ENGINE (×4)
EuroProp International TP400-D6 11,000 shp/8,200 kW
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Operating Altitude 12,200 m/40,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS) 300 knots/345 mph/555 km/h
Cruise Speed Range 0.68-0.72 M
RANGE
Range with Maximum Payload (37,000 kg/81,600 lbs) 1,780 NM/2,050 miles/3,300 km
Range with 30,000 kg/66,000 lbs Payload 2,450 NM/2,796 miles/4,500 km
Range with 20,000 kg/44,000 lbs Payload 3,450 NM/3,977 miles/6,400 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 4,700 NM/5,406 miles/8,700 km
First Spanish Air Force A400M makes its maiden flight
First Spanish Air Force A400M makes its maiden flight

From linear hydraulic
to rotary hydroelectric

Nineteen Sailors from Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) recently graduated from Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) operator and maintainer initial training conducted at the test sites in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Sailors from Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) use a test-site specific tool to lower the Cable Shock Absorber Thru-Deck Sheave Assembly into place while participating in hands-on maintenance labs as part of a six-week Advanced Arresting Gear training course at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in August (U.S. Navy Photo)
Sailors from Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) use a test-site specific tool to lower the Cable Shock Absorber Thru-Deck Sheave Assembly into place while participating in hands-on maintenance labs as part of a six-week Advanced Arresting Gear training course at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in August (U.S. Navy Photo)

This is the second six-week course completed by Ford Sailors, with 20 having graduated in April, and additional crew members having completed a senior leadership training course in August 2015.

Many recent graduates expressed excitement about the opportunity to be among the first to work with the Navy’s newest aircraft recovery equipment and the advantages it will bring to the fleet and their daily lives at sea.

«AAG cuts down manning below deck during flight operations; we went from 22 people to three people, and that’s a huge change for us», said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) (ABE) 1st Class Andrew Holcomb. «There’s also less maintenance needed, so we don’t have to take apart as much greasy equipment and walk around the ship in dirty uniforms».

Another crewmember, ABE2 Carlos Rodriguez, said he thinks AAG will be safer for those working directly with it as well as all personnel. He said he will be responsible for upkeep of the system aboard the Ford and valued the in-depth training because «topside, it’s pretty much the same; but below decks, it’s a completely different animal».

While anticipation for the system’s benefits grows, many Sailors with previous experience working on legacy arresting gear (Mk-7) said they were initially intimidated to work with AAG. The new system transitions from linear hydraulic to rotary hydroelectric, plus a friction brake system. A couple weeks into the course, many reported those anxieties were relieved.

«The intent of the training is to provide students with the most shipboard-representative, hands-on, and job-related training possible in order to prepare them for system turnover on board CVN-78», said AAG Training Lead Dan Andreoli.

Andreoli explained the training, which combines classroom instruction with operation and maintenance labs, as well as extensive walk-throughs, at two active test sites, has been in development since late 2013. The CVN-78 PCU crew has been involved, providing valuable input, since early 2015.

«We have a very bright group of Sailors who will be operating and maintaining AAG, and I’m very proud to be a part of ensuring they have the proper foundation of knowledge and skills to safely and effectively operate and maintain the system», Andreoli stated.

Aircraft Launch and Recovery Maintenance Chief (ABEC) Christopher Boone said in addition to the younger Sailors being able to work directly with the system during their time at Lakehurst, building a relationship with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) engineers and AAG subject matter experts is incredibly important.

The crew had ample opportunity for interaction with a flurry of preparations and tests ongoing at both the Jet Car Track Site and the Runway Arrested Landing Site.

The dedicated training division will soon begin developing formal schoolhouse training for AAG, with efforts to integrate cost-saving Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System (MRTS 3D) simulations.

Remote Mine Hunting

Northrop Grumman Corporation will be participating in the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior exercise where it will demonstrate its unmanned mine hunting capability.

Northrop Grumman to Demonstrate Remote Mine Hunting Capability in Unmanned Warrior Exercise
Northrop Grumman to Demonstrate Remote Mine Hunting Capability in Unmanned Warrior Exercise

The unmanned mine hunting element of Unmanned Warrior will feature Northrop Grumman’s AQS-24B towed mine hunting sensor operated from an Atlas Elektronik UK ARCIMS Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV). The AQS-24B, which is a towed mine hunting sensor used by the U.S. Navy, features the world’s only high speed synthetic aperture sonar for mine detection, localisation and classification, and an optical laser line scan sensor for mine identification. The ARCIMS USV is a surface craft 36 feet/11 meters long that will be operated via remote control while towing the AQS-24B through a simulated mine field.

«Securing access and situational awareness in the maritime environment has become increasingly important for many nations», said Andrew Tyler, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Europe. «We look forward to participating in Unmanned Warrior and demonstrating how innovative, state of the art U.K. and U.S. technologies can come together to advance unmanned military capabilities that can potentially benefit both navies as well as those of our allies».

Unmanned Warrior, which takes place at Ministry of Defence (MoD) exercise areas in Scotland and the Western Isles, is part of the biannual Joint Warrior exercise, and is the largest capability demonstration event of its kind. It will feature more than 40 unmanned vehicles, sensors and systems demonstrating, in a challenging environment, key military missions for the Royal Navy in a series of themed activities including mine-hunting, sea surveying, submarine simulation and fleet reconnaissance. The exercise will help inform the Royal Navy’s future capability planning and demonstrate how the systems being showcased deliver maritime situational awareness.

The demonstration of unmanned systems overlaid onto the Joint Warrior exercise scenario will create a challenging environment for the participants and allow the Royal Navy to see first-hand how the systems and sensors could integrate into current and future maritime operations.

Australian Future Frigate

BAE Systems has signed a contract with the Commonwealth Government to further refine its design of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) for the Royal Australian Navy under the SEA 5000 (Future Frigate) program.

BAE Systems signs Future Frigate design contract with Australian Government
BAE Systems signs Future Frigate design contract with Australian Government

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, Glynn Phillips, said: «We look forward to demonstrating the adaptability and maturity of the Global Combat Ship design to meet Australia’s requirements for an Anti-Submarine Warship frigate. The Global Combat Ship design is the most modern, adaptable and flexible of all possible options available today, and I am confident that we will be able to demonstrate that it is the best able to meet the requirements of the Royal Australian Navy».

In coming months, a team of BAE Systems’ Australian engineers will be deployed to the UK to join the Company’s established design team. Being embedded into the one of the most advanced warship building teams in the world will allow these engineers to acquire the skills and knowledge required to effectively transfer the technology to Australia.

BAE Systems is using the latest in modern digital planning capability to refine and tailor its designs to the Commonwealth of Australia’s requirements. To assist this process, the Company has revealed that, a 3-dimensional visualisation suite will be delivered to Australia to help improve understanding of the unique features of the ship design. This will enable conversations about design modifications the Royal Australian Navy requires and will help demonstrate how the Global Combat Ship could accommodate the required CEA Technologies’ phased-array radar system.

This is part of the Australian Department of Defence’s Competitive Evaluation Process for the program. The Commonwealth has also entered into similar agreements with Fincantieri and Navantia.

The Global Combat Ship is the most adaptable and flexible design and best suited to meet the operational requirements of the Royal Australian Navy.

BAE Systems is one of the world’s leading designers, builders and systems integrators of naval ships and submarines. BAE Systems Australia has been building, upgrading and maintaining the Royal Australian Navy’s surface fleet for more than 30 years.

BAE Systems is currently supporting and upgrading the Anzac Class Frigates, sustaining the largest ships in the fleet – the Landing Helicopter Docks, as well as the Adelaide Class Frigates, Minehunters and the Hydrographic Fleet.

First Royal Navy OPV

The first complex warship to be built at Glasgow since the last Type 45, HMS Duncan (D37), has successfully completed its journey from BAE Systems shipyard at Govan on the Clyde and is now safely docked at the company’s Scotstoun facility where she will complete final systems installation and testing.

OPV HMS Forth Leaving the SBOH shed at Govan
OPV HMS Forth Leaving the SBOH shed at Govan

HMS Forth, the first of the new River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), entered the water for the first time on Saturday 13 August and her arrival at Scotstoun is the latest step in a modernised approach to shipbuilding at Glasgow that uses the latest technologies and processes. The first plate of steel for Forth was delivered to Glasgow in October 2014 and progressed down the production line soon after, with the ship structurally complete just 18 months later.

Vice Admiral Simon Lister, Chief of Materiel (Fleet) for the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said: «The cutting-edge technology of the Royal Navy’s versatile new Offshore Patrol Vessels will enable these warships to carry out a wide range of tasks, from disaster relief missions to maritime security, all the while protecting the UK’s interests at home and around the globe. Supported by a rising Defence budget, the rollout of HMS Forth reflects the success of the OPV programme, safeguarding the vital capability and skills that will be used in the delivery of the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Frigates».

Iain Stevenson, Managing Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «For Forth to enter the water less than two years after construction started is hugely significant and sets the tone for the future of modern warship building. She is the first complex warship to benefit from the new technologies and methods that we are introducing to further bolster our ability to be the best supplier to the Royal Navy. Forth has already benefitted from a safer and more efficient build process that enabled much of the work to take place under cover, and as a result she leaves our Govan facility at a much higher rate of completion. We’re building on the proud heritage of British shipbuilding here in Glasgow and looking to the future. Not only does this mean we are creating valuable additions to the Royal Navy’s fleet but we are ensuring that shipbuilding skills and expertise are maintained and developed in the UK».

OPV HMS Forth is lowered from a barge into the Clyde by BAE Systems workers from at the King George V dock
OPV HMS Forth is lowered from a barge into the Clyde by BAE Systems workers from at the King George V dock

The new process to transfer HMS Forth across the Clyde began with a single remote control and 160 wheels driving the 1600 tonne Forth from inside the ship build hall at Govan to the dock side at a careful half a mile per hour. HMS Forth, with a weight comparable to 120 London buses, then made a short journey towards the waiting barge before setting sail for Scotstoun via the King George V dock. She is now safely at Scotstoun with the installation of the complex combat systems already underway, prior to handover to the Royal Navy in the first half of 2017.

This design of the offshore patrol vessel builds on the Royal Navy’s existing River Class ships and variants of this design are already in service in Brazil and Thailand. Engineers at BAE Systems have modified the design to meet the requirements of the Royal Navy in support of UK interests both at home and abroad.

The OPVs will be globally deployable and capable of ocean patrol with a range in excess of 5,000 nautical miles/5,754 miles/9,260 km, equivalent to a journey from Portsmouth to Rio de Janeiro, and a maximum speed of 24 knots/27.6 mph/44.5 km/h.

The manufacturing contract for the first three ships was announced in August 2014 and in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review the UK Government announced its intention to buy a further two offshore patrol vessels to be built in Glasgow. Construction of first of class, HMS Forth, began in October 2014, second of class, HMS Medway, began in June 2015 while HMS Trent began in October 2015. HMS Forth (length – 90.5 m, width – 13 m) is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.

Moving OPV HMS Forth across the Clyde in Glasgow
Moving OPV HMS Forth across the Clyde in Glasgow

Ninth NSC

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division on August 30 received an $88.2 million fixed-price contract from the U.S. Coast Guard to purchase long-lead materials for a ninth National Security Cutter (NSC).

Munro, the sixth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter (NSC) built at Ingalls Shipbuilding, spent three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing all of the ship’s systems (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
Munro, the sixth U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter (NSC) built at Ingalls Shipbuilding, spent three days in the Gulf of Mexico testing all of the ship’s systems (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«NSC 9 will build on the performance record of her predecessors in the Legend class», said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. «Coast Guard leadership has stated these ships help fill a need to bolster front-line operations in the fight against crime, especially drug interdictions. Ingalls is proud and honored to be providing this most advanced fleet of cutters to enable the Coast Guard to perform its daily missions in protecting America’s shores».

The advance procurement funds will be used to purchase major items for NSC 9 (WMSL-758), such as steel, the main propulsion systems, generators, electrical switchboards and major castings.

«This long-lead material contract gives our shipbuilders the ability to immediately start work on the ship in anticipation of the construction contract», said Kari Wilkinson, Ingalls’ vice president of program management. «This advance procurement helps us get started on the next great ship in this program».

Ingalls has delivered the first five NSCs, the flagship of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, designed to replace the 12 Hamilton-class High-Endurance Cutters, which entered service during the 1960s. Ingalls’ sixth NSC, USCGC Munro (WMSL-755), is scheduled for acceptance sea trials and delivery in the fourth quarter of 2016. The seventh ship, USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756), is scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter, and the keel for the eighth, USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757), is scheduled to be laid later this year.

NSCs are 418 feet/127 m long with a 54-foot/16-meter beam and displace 4,500 tons/4,572 metric tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h, a range of 12,000 nautical miles/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/4,572 metric 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

 

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
WMSL-758

 

Munro (NSC 6) Builder’s Sea Trials