Tag Archives: Electric Boat

16th Virginia submarine

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division on June 25, 2018 delivered the newest nuclear-powered fast attack submarine to the U.S. Navy.

USS Indiana (SSN-789) was delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding on June 25. Pictured during sea trials in May, the newest Virginia-class submarine will be commissioned later this year (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
USS Indiana (SSN-789) was delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding on June 25. Pictured during sea trials in May, the newest Virginia-class submarine will be commissioned later this year (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

The future USS Indiana (SSN-789) is the 16th Virginia-class submarine built as part of the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat and the eighth delivered by Newport News.

«We are proud to deliver Indiana to the Navy», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «For the nearly 4,000 shipbuilders who participated in construction of the boat, there is nothing more important than knowing that this vessel will support the Navy’s missions».

Indiana, which began construction in September 2012, successfully completed sea trials earlier this month. The vessel will be commissioned later this year.

Virginia-class submarines are built for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions to replace the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines as they are retired. Virginia-class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These 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.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Integrated Missions Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 39,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

 

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
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Payload Module

BAE Systems has received a contract to produce payload tubes for two of the U.S. Navy’s new Virginia-class (SSN-774) submarines to support increased firepower on the Block V version of the attack subs.

BAE Systems to provide additional payload tubes for new Virginia-class subs
BAE Systems to provide additional payload tubes for new Virginia-class subs

Under the contract with General Dynamics Electric Boat, a builder of the Virginia class, BAE Systems will deliver two sets, each consisting of four tubes, for the Virginia Payload Modules on the SSN-804 and SSN-805.

The Virginia Payload Module (VPM) extends the length of the Block V submarines over previous versions of the Virginia-class by adding an additional mid-body section to create more payload space for greater firepower. Each large-diameter payload tube can store and launch up to seven Tomahawk cruise missiles. The VPM offers exceptional flexibility as well for the integration of future payload types, such as unmanned systems or next-generation weapons.

«The Virginia Payload Module is critical to the Navy’s undersea presence», said Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. «With the VPM, the Navy is adding significant capability to the Virginia-class by increasing the firepower of these subs and tripling their payload capacity».

BAE Systems, which is also providing payload tubes for the SSN-803 under a previously awarded VPM contract, has a long history of supporting the Navy’s submarine fleet as the leading provider of propulsors and other submarine systems. The company was selected to provide propulsors, spare hardware, and tailcones for Block IV Virginia-class vessels and stands ready to provide the same support for the Block V subs.

Under this most recent contract, BAE Systems will also develop the processes and tooling necessary for the Block V payload tube production. Work will be performed at the company’s facility in Louisville, Kentucky, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2020.

Keel laying ceremony

The U.S. Navy held a keel laying ceremony for the Virginia-class submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795) at General Dynamics Electric Boat, May 11.

U.S. Navy & GDEB Laid Keel of Future USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)
U.S. Navy & GDEB Laid Keel of Future USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)

The initials of the submarine’s sponsor, Darleen Greenert, were welded onto a steel plate that will be permanently affixed to the submarine. She is the wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert (retired).

Admiral Frank Caldwell, Jr., director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, stated, «Admiral Rickover’s gift to our Nation’s defense – safe, reliable, and militarily superior naval nuclear propulsion – is as vital to our warfighting edge today as it was at the beginning of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program 70 years ago. The U.S. Navy and our nation are proud to honor his achievements and legacy with this submarine».

The submarine began construction on September 30, 2015 and is on track to continue the Virginia-class program’s trend of delivering quality submarines within budget and ready for tasking by the fleet.

This will be the second submarine to be named after Admiral Hyman G. Rickover to honor the pioneer of the nuclear navy. The first submarine named for the admiral was the Los Angeles-Class submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), which served from 1984 to 2006.

Admiral Rickover served for 63 years on active duty service, making him the longest serving member of the U.S. armed forces in history. In the late 1940’s, Admiral Rickover was made director of the Naval Reactors Branch of the Bureau of Ships and he subsequently led the efforts to develop what would become the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. Admiral Rickover also established and enforced strict safety standards, leading to the U.S. Navy’s safety record of over 162,000,000 miles safely steamed on nuclear power.

Other Virginia-class milestones this year include the commissioning of the USS Indiana (SSN-789) and the combined keel laying and christening of USS Vermont (SSN-792), both currently projected to occur in the fall.

This next-generation attack submarine provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities-sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Badge of the future Virginia-Class submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)
Badge of the future Virginia-Class submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)

 

General Characteristics

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

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB Under Construction
SSN-793 Oregon EB Under Construction
SSN-794 Montana NNS Under Construction
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 Arkansas NNS On Order
SSN-801 Utah EB On Order

 

Terra Marique Indomita

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest fast attack submarine, the future USS Colorado (SSN-788), during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, March 17, at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

Navy commissioned submarine Colorado
Navy commissioned submarine Colorado

The principal speaker was U.S. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado. Annie Mabus, daughter of 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

«USS Colorado is a true marvel of technology and innovation, and it shows the capability that our industrial partners bring to the fight», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Richard V. Spencer. «Today’s world requires undersea platforms designed for dominance across a broad spectrum of regional and littoral missions, and I am confident Colorado will proudly serve in defense of our nation’s interests for decades to come».

The future Colorado, which began construction in 2012, is the 15th Virginia-class fast attack submarine and the fifth Virginia-class Block III submarine. Colorado will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with a name honoring the state of Colorado. The first Colorado was a three-masted steam screw frigate that participated in the Union Navy’s Gulf Blockading Squadron and fought in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher with then-Lt. George Dewey serving as her executive officer. In the early years of the 20th century, the second Colorado (ACR-7) was a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser that escorted convoys of men and supplies to England during World War I. The third ship of her name, the lead ship of the Colorado class of battleships (BB-45), supported operations in the Pacific theater throughout World War II, surviving two kamikaze attacks and earning seven battle stars.

This next-generation attack submarine provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century. Block III Virginia-class submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities-sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Nuclear attack boat USS Colorado (SSN-788) sits pierside on March 17, 2018 (U.S. Navy Photo)
Nuclear attack boat USS Colorado (SSN-788) sits pierside on March 17, 2018 (U.S. Navy Photo)

 

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/10.06 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.36 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 2 × 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)
USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commanding Officer, Commander Reed Koepp (left) and Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Stephen Col stand in the boat’s sail on January 12, 2018 (U.S. Navy Photo)
USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commanding Officer, Commander Reed Koepp (left) and Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Stephen Col stand in the boat’s sail on January 12, 2018 (U.S. Navy Photo)

 

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
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Contract Announcement

General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut, is being awarded a $696,246,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-2100 for additional long lead time material associated with the fiscal 2019 Virginia-class submarines (SSNs 802 and 803); and the fiscal 2020 Virginia-class submarines (SSNs 804 and 805).

GD Wins $696M for Virginia-class SSNs
GD Wins $696M for Virginia-class SSNs

This contract provides long lead time material for steam and electric plant components; the main propulsion unit efforts and ship service turbine generator efforts; and miscellaneous hull, mechanical and electrical system components to support SSNs 802, 803, 804 and 805 ship construction commencing in fiscal 2019.

Work will be performed in:

  • Sunnyvale, California (35 percent);
  • Newport News, Virginia (5 percent);
  • Quonset Point, Rhode Island (5 percent);
  • Depew, New York (3 percent);
  • Stoughton, Massachusetts (3 percent);
  • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (3 percent);
  • Florence, New Jersey (3 percent);
  • Windsor Locks, Connecticut (3 percent);
  • Mount Vernon, Indiana (2 percent);
  • Cajon, California (2 percent);
  • Cheswick, Pennsylvania (2 percent);
  • Arvada, Colorado (2 percent);
  • Coatesville, Pennsylvania (2 percent);
  • York, Pennsylvania (1 percent);
  • Mossville, Illinois (1 percent);
  • Spring Grove, Illinois (1 percent);
  • Linden, New Jersey (1 percent);
  • Jacksonville, Florida (1 percent);
  • Tucson, Arizona (1 percent);
  • Tacoma, Washington (1 percent);
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1 percent);
  • Charleston, South Carolina (1 percent);
  • Orrville, Ohio (1 percent);
  • Louisville, Kentucky (1 percent);
  • Tempe, Arizona (1 percent);
  • Westfield, Massachusetts (1 percent);
  • Manassas, Virginia (1 percent);
  • South El Monte, California (1 percent);
  • Pewaukee, Wisconsin (1 percent);
  • Loanhead, United Kingdom (1 percent);

and other efforts performed at various sites throughout the U.S. (13 percent), and is expected to be completed by January 2019.

Fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $696,246,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

Christening of Dakota

The U.S. Navy christened its newest attack submarine, the future USS South Dakota (SSN-790), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, October 14, at General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

Ship sponsor, Deanie Dempsey, christens the USS South Dakota
Ship sponsor, Deanie Dempsey, christens the USS South Dakota

Governor of South Dakota Dennis Daugaard delivered the ceremony’s principal address. The submarine’s sponsor is Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, wife of the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. The ceremony was highlighted by Mrs. Dempsey breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored U.S. Navy tradition.

«Today’s christening of South Dakota brings this submarine one step closer to joining our strong fleet», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «For decades to come, this boat and the Sailors who will serve on it will stand as a tribute to the patriotic people of South Dakota and a testament to the value of the partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industry teammates».

USS South Dakota, a Virginia-class submarine designated SSN-790, is the third ship to bear the state’s name. The second ship was a battleship that stood as the lead ship of her class and earned 13 battle stars during her extensive service in the Pacific theater during World War II.

USS South Dakota (SSN-790) is the 17th Virginia-class attack submarine and the seventh Virginia-class Block III submarine. The ship began construction in 2013 and is contracted to deliver in August 2018. USS South Dakota (SSN-790) will provide the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

Block III Virginia-class submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.

The USS South Dakota crew poses at the site of SSN 790’s construction in Groton, Connecticut
The USS South Dakota crew poses at the site of SSN 790’s construction in Groton, Connecticut

 

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/10.06 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.36 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 2 × 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)
The official crest for the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) includes a wide variety of imagery representing South Dakota and its history
The official crest for the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) includes a wide variety of imagery representing South Dakota and its history

 

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 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB 10-14-17
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Alpha sea trials

The nation’s newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, USS Colorado (SSN-788), returned to the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard Monday, August 21, following the successful completion of its first voyage in open seas, called alpha sea trials. Colorado is the 15th ship of the Virginia Class, the most capable class of attack submarines ever built. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (GD).

Submarine Colorado completes first voyage
Submarine Colorado completes first voyage

Colorado’s alpha sea trials included a range of submarine and propulsion-plant operations, submerging for the first time, and high-speed runs on and below the surface to demonstrate that the ship’s propulsion plant is fully mission-capable.

The sea trials were directed by U.S. Navy Admiral James F. Caldwell Jr., director – Naval Nuclear Propulsion. Also participating in the sea trials were Captain Jeffrey Heydon, supervisor of shipbuilding in Groton; and Jeffrey S. Geiger, president of Electric Boat. Colorado is commanded by Commander Ken Franklin.

«The crew and shipbuilders worked as one unit to take Colorado to sea and put it through its paces», said Electric Boat President Geiger. «This required an outstanding effort by everyone involved, and demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. Navy and industry team to sustain the success of the Virginia-class submarine program. I appreciate the contributions made by the U.S. Navy personnel, shipbuilders and suppliers who made it happen».

Electric Boat and its construction teammate, Newport News Shipbuilding, already have delivered 14 Virginia-class submarines to the U.S. Navy: USS Virginia (SSN-774), USS Texas (SSN-775), USS Hawaii (SSN-776), USS North Carolina (SSN-777), USS New Hampshire (SSN-778), USS New Mexico (SSN-779), USS Missouri (SSN-780), USS California (SSN-781), USS Mississippi (SSN-782), USS Minnesota (SSN-783), USS North Dakota (SSN-784), USS John Warner (SSN-785), USS Illinois (SSN-786) and Washington (SSN-787). Fourteen more submarines of the class are under contract.

Virginia-class submarines displace 7,835 long tons/7,961 metric tons submerged, with a hull length of 377 feet/114.9 m and a diameter of 34 feet/10.4 m. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25+ knots/29+ mph/46+ km/h and can dive to a depth greater than 800+ feet/244+ m, while carrying Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes and Tomahawk land-attack missiles.

Ship’s Crest
Ship’s Crest

 

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/114.9 m
Beam 33 feet/10 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.4 m
Displacement Approximately 7,835 long tons/7,961 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/29+ mph/46+ 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

 

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 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Illinois Commissioning

The U.S. Navy with assistance from the First Lady Michelle Obama commissioned and brought to life the newest Virginia class submarine, USS Illinois (SSN-786), during a ceremony attended by more than 2,500 at Naval Submarine Base, New London on October 29, 2016.

Sailors assigned to the Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Illinois (SSN-786) salute after bringing the ship to life during a rehearsal for the submarine's upcoming commissioning ceremony scheduled for October 29. Illinois is the U.S. Navy's 13th Virginia-Class attack submarine and the fourth U.S. Navy ship named for the state of Illinois (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood)
Sailors assigned to the Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Illinois (SSN-786) salute after bringing the ship to life during a rehearsal for the submarine’s upcoming commissioning ceremony scheduled for October 29. Illinois is the U.S. Navy’s 13th Virginia-Class attack submarine and the fourth U.S. Navy ship named for the state of Illinois (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood)

Illinois, named in honor of the 21st state, is the 13th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine to join the Navy’s operational fleet.

The first lady, who is the ships sponsor, expressed how proud she was of the crew and their families. «Thank you for giving me the incredible privilege of being associated with you and with your families and with the Illinois for the rest of my life. I will continue to keep you in my prayers every single day and keep you in my thoughts, and know that you have a sponsor that cares deeply». Obama gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life» before the crew of about 130 men ran across the brow, onto the vessel.

«There are many out there who have been waiting a long time to address you-not as a PCU, but as a United States Ship-the USS Illinois-a warship», said key note speaker, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson.

USS Illinois (SSN-786) is the third of eight Block III Virginia-class submarines to be built. The Block III submarines are built with new Virginia Payload Tubes designed to lower costs and increase missile-firing payload possibilities. The first 10 Block I and Block II Virginia-class submarines have 12 individual 21-inch/0.53-meter diameter vertical launch tubes able to fire Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMS). The Block III submarines are built with two-larger 87-inch/2.2-meter diameter tubes able to house six TLAMS each.

USS Illinois Commanding Officer, Commander Jessie Porter, highlighted the Illinois’ capability to dominate the undersea domain and enable military success in any engagement. «Over the coming years, this submarine -and others like her-will continue the impressive legacy that our submarine forbearers have established in making our country more secure», said Porter. «The Illinois has joined the fleet», said Porter. «The crew of Illinois has assumed our watch-a watch that will continue for the next 30 years-always waiting for the call, always ready».

During the ceremony, Obama had the opportunity to announce Illinois’ Sailor of the Year, Petty Officer First Class Ryan Mock.

The first USS Illinois (BB-7) was a battleship commissioned in 1901 and was part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet that circumnavigated the world in 1907, introducing America as a global power.

USS Illinois (SSN-786) is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and mine warfare.

The submarine is 377 feet/114.8 m long, has a 34-foot/10.36-meter beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet/244 m and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots/28 mph/46.3 km/h submerged. It will operate for over 30 years without ever refueling. Construction on Illinois began March 2011; the submarine’s keel was authenticated during a ceremony on June 2, 2014; and the submarine was christened during a ceremony October 10, 2015.

USS Illinois Joins U.S. Navy’s Fleet

 

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/10.06 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.36 m
Displacement Approximately 7,835 tons/7,961 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

The future USS Illinois (SSN-786) conducts sea trials (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics Electric Boat/Released)
The future USS Illinois (SSN-786) conducts sea trials (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics Electric Boat/Released)

 

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

The emblem of the USS Illinois (SSN-786)
The emblem of the USS Illinois (SSN-786)

 

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
First lady Michelle Obama christens submarine named after her home state of Illinois
First lady Michelle Obama christens submarine named after her home state of Illinois

 

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 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB Under Construction
SSN-789 Indiana NNS Under Construction
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction
Sailors assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Illinois (SSN-786) raise the flags during the rehearsal for the upcoming commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois, the U.S. Navy’s newest submarine on October 29 (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
Sailors assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Illinois (SSN-786) raise the flags during the rehearsal for the upcoming commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois, the U.S. Navy’s newest submarine on October 29 (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)

Tubes for Block V

BAE Systems has received a contract from General Dynamics Electric Boat to begin work associated with the production of Virginia Payload Module (VPM) tubes for Block V Virginia-class (SSN-774) submarines.

The concept of the Virginia Payload Module
The concept of the Virginia Payload Module

This initial award will fund work surrounding certification, special tooling, and other items related to production readiness.

The VPM is an additional mid-body section being integrated into the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarines, beginning with the second boat of Block V. It contains four large-diameter payload tubes, each capable of storing and launching up to seven Tomahawk cruise missiles. Accessible while at sea, the VPM also offers an unprecedented amount of flexibility in the potential integration of future payloads.

«The new Virginia Payload Module will bring an additional 28 missiles to each Virginia-class submarine, tripling their payload strike capacity», said Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. «Increasing the firepower of the Virginia class is a cost-effective way for the U.S. Navy to maintain its strike capability after its four SSGN guided missile submarines retire».

BAE Systems has a long history of supporting the U.S. undersea fleet as the leading provider of propulsors and other submarine systems. Earlier this year the company announced it was selected to provide propulsors, spare hardware, and tailcones for Block IV Virginia-class submarines.

Work on the initial award will be performed at BAE Systems’ facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Contracts for the launch tube production are expected in early 2017, with deliveries through 2019.

Clock counts down

On the sixth floor of Tower A at the New London Facility a digital time clock counts down the number of days until a due date for the next Virginia Payload Module (VPM) arrangement design completion. That Design-Build team had 516 people working on VPM deliverables on this particular day. There were 143 designers, 308 engineers, and 65 personnel in purchasing, operations, planning, material procurement, finance and contracts working on VPM. By summer, there will be 650.

VPT (Virginia Payload Tubes), CMC (Common Missile Compartment) and VPM is another variation of tube designs tailored to a specific mission
VPT (Virginia Payload Tubes), CMC (Common Missile Compartment) and VPM is another variation of tube designs tailored to a specific mission

The ramp-up in people and countdown on product delivery are all part of ensuring the first VPM is ready for installation at the beginning of Virginia Block V in 2019. Target date for operating capability is 2026.

The schedule is set to ensure the U.S. Navy does not lose mission capabilities in the 2020s when SSGNs reach the end of their 42-year maximum service lives. When the last SSGN retires in 2028, the U.S. Navy faced losing 60 percent of its undersea strike capacity. The 19 Virginia submarines planned with VPM, with its capacity for 28 Tomahawk missiles, will help mitigate that loss. The 87-inch/2.2-meter width of its missile tubes also allows carrying unmanned undersea and aerial vehicles.

VPM will have four in-line, large-diameter missile tubes capable of launching 28 Tomahawk missiles or future payloads. The payload tubes are a complex undertaking requiring expertise from Structures, Fluids, Mechanical, Combat Systems, and Electrical departments. Installation may be three years away but making that date means buying materials, lining up vendors, and testing processes now.

One casting is 12-feet/3.6-meter wide by 12-feet /3.6-meter long and will weigh approximately 47,000 pounds/21,319 kg. Facilities upgrades and new fixtures are needed to support the modules’ tubes and inserting them in the hull. Also, a new barge will be required to transport it from Quonset Point to Groton. VPM will be approximately 84-feet/25.6-meter long. Incorporating the VPM into the existing 2B-5 module will result in a super module that is approximately 183-feet/55.8-meter long. That’s a big module to transport.

The current VPM is a descendent of the Multi-Mission Module concept that resulted from numerous configuration studies over several years. These configurations – part of the conform process under then-director Al Malchiodi – included removable payload tubes, a payload bay, in-line payload tubes in a wasp-waist hull or a full-diameter hull, and building a payload interface module.

By 2013 the Capability Development Document for VPM was approved by the U.S. Navy and the key performance parameters for cost, strike capability, and schedule were set. Delivering on those marching orders has been the goal of the VPM Program ever since.

2016 will be an exciting year as the prototype missile tube is built – VPM went from sketches to pouring castings. Also this year VPM will be validating the design of the integrated tube and hull, casting prototype, destructively testing the prototype castings, starting host ship arrangements, completing ship specifications, and updating cost estimates. In addition, the pressure hull confirmation model will be designed and built, harnessing the efforts of planning and people and then producing a steel product.

 

VPM Characteristics

Virginia Payload Module (VPM) An 84-foot/25.6-meter-hull section with a low-profile topside fairing
Payload Volume Four in-line large-diameter missile tubes capable of launching 28 Tomahawk missiles, or a wide range of future payloads
Flexibility 87-inch/2.2-meter-wide tubes allowing more payload options than standard 21-inch/0.53-meter tubes
Accessibility Internal hatches on each tube for access to payloads
Whole-Ship 461-foot/140.5-meter long; 9,700 long tons (LT)/9,856 metric tonnes displacement; 40 vertically-launched missiles
Availability Block V: Construction scheduled to start in 2019; initial operational capability targeted for 2026 long tons metric tonnes