Tag Archives: General Dynamics

Go Navy!

The Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115), during a 10 a.m. PDT ceremony Saturday, July 29, at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.

Commissioning of USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115)
Commissioning of USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115)

The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) honors Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for actions during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Peralta is credited with saving the lives of fellow Marines during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004.

General Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Ms. Rosa Maria Peralta, Sergeant Peralta’s mother, served as the ship’s sponsor.

«This commissioning memorializes the life of Sgt. Rafael Peralta and marks the beginning of what will be decades of exceptional service for this ship», said the Honorable Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the U.S. Navy. «During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Sergeant Peralta acted heroically and sacrificed himself for his fellow Marines. He was proud to be an American, proud to be a Marine and we are proud to welcome USS Rafael Peralta to the fleet. I have no doubt the men and women who serve aboard Peralta will continue his legacy of service».

Rafael Peralta, the 64th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. The USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capabilities.

The ship will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego.

You could hear the BOOM of the 5-inch off the Southern California coast
You could hear the BOOM of the 5-inch off the Southern California coast

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos
Future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) arrives at her homeport for the first time in anticipation of commissioning scheduled for July 29. The 65th ship of its class, Peralta is classified as a Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and is named for Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Phil Ladouceur/Released)
Future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) arrives at her homeport for the first time in anticipation of commissioning scheduled for July 29. The 65th ship of its class, Peralta is classified as a Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and is named for Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Phil Ladouceur/Released)

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15 07-15-17 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15 07-29-2017 San Diego, California
USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) completed her birth shift to Naval Air Station North Island
USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) completed her birth shift to Naval Air Station North Island

First Deployment

The U.S. Navy’s first purpose-built expeditionary sea base, USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3), departed from Naval Station Norfolk to begin its first operational deployment, July 10. Puller is deploying to the U.S. 5th Fleet to provide operational support for U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the region.

The Military Sealift Command expeditionary mobile base USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) departs Naval Station Norfolk for its first operational deployment (U.S. Navy photo)
The Military Sealift Command expeditionary mobile base USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) departs Naval Station Norfolk for its first operational deployment (U.S. Navy photo)

«We call ourselves ‘Team Puller,’» said Commander Arlen Rose, the military detachment’s officer in charge. «The Puller is a brand-new ship, so we had a lot to learn. The military crew has been training with the ship’s civil service mariners for a year to prepare for this deployment». «We are ready to get Puller out there to takes its rightful place in the fleet», added Rose. «Everyone is really excited to get to work and see what the Puller can do».

USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) was delivered to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) in June 2015 and is the Navy’s first purpose-built expeditionary sea base. The ship has a hybrid-manned crew with a combination of military personnel and civilian mariners (CIVMAR).

«The CIVMARs aboard Puller primarily focus on the operation of the ship», said Captain George McCarthy, the Puller’s master. «The CIVMARs perform a variety of critical tasks including navigation, propulsion and ventilation services».

The 784-foot-long/239-meter-long vessel features a 52,000 square-foot/4,831 square-meter flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, and mission-planning spaces. Able to accommodate up to 250 personnel, USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) will support multiple missions, such as air mine counter measures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions, and crisis response operations.

According to McCarthy, the Puller is going to be permanently deployed overseas, which saves a tremendous amount of time in terms of operations. So, the ship’s maintenance, repairs and crew swaps will take place in theater.

USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) is named after Lieutenant General, Lewis Burwell «Chesty» Puller, one of the most decorated members of the Marine Corps. He is one of only two men, and the only Marine, to be awarded five Navy Crosses. He fought in Haiti and Nicaragua, and participated in battles of World War II and the Korean War. Puller retired from the Marine Corps in 1955 and spent the remainder of his life in Virginia.

USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) is the expeditionary sea base-variant of the expeditionary transfer dock (ESD) which includes USNS Montford Point (T-ESD-1) and USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2). The second expeditionary sea base, USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams (T-ESB-4), is currently under construction by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego.

MSC operates approximately 120 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, and strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, while moving military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.

USNS Lewis B. Puller deploys from Naval Station Norfolk

Armoured Vehicle to the
Bulgarian Army

The Piranha Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), a member of the Piranha family of vehicles, was officially presented on April 27th at the Military polygon Tylbeto near the city of Kazanlak in Bulgaria. The Military Unit Tylbeto in Kazanlak hosted the vehicle demonstration event, with a broad military audience, state officials and authorities and local industry in attendance.

General Dynamics European Land Systems demonstrates the Piranha 8×8 Wheeled Armoured Vehicle to the Bulgarian Army (GDELS photo)
General Dynamics European Land Systems demonstrates the Piranha 8×8 Wheeled Armoured Vehicle to the Bulgarian Army (GDELS photo)

Together with its partners, General Dynamics Mission Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, General Dynamics European Land Systems successfully conducted the three-day vehicle demonstration and live firing event with a Piranha IFV equipped with a 30-mm NATO-compliant remote controlled weapon station, an anti-tank guided missile system and a fully integrated communication information system. The vehicle is a candidate for the Bulgarian Army’s Battalion Battle Group acquisition project.

«General Dynamics European Land Systems is honoured to have the opportunity to present the full range of the Piranha system capabilities to the Bulgarian Army. With our proven technology and advanced system capabilities, we are confident in our ability to provide the Bulgarian Army with a compliant solution», said Doctor Thomas Kauffmann, Vice President of International Business & Services of General Dynamics European Land Systems.

The Piranha IV, armed with a 30-mm remote-controlled weapon station and an anti-tank guided missile system, seen here during its demonstration in Bulgaria, where it is competing for the Battalion Battle Group contract (GDELS photo)
The Piranha IV, armed with a 30-mm remote-controlled weapon station and an anti-tank guided missile system, seen here during its demonstration in Bulgaria, where it is competing for the Battalion Battle Group contract (GDELS photo)

 

About General Dynamics European Land Systems

General Dynamics European Land Systems, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is a business unit of General Dynamics (GD), and conducts its business through five European operating sites located in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. With over 1,800 highly skilled technical employees, the company designs, manufactures and delivers world-class land combat systems, including wheeled, tracked and amphibious vehicles, bridge systems, armaments and munitions, to global customers.

Christening of Hudner

On April 1, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works christened the U.S. Navy’s newest guided-missile destroyer, USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116). The ship is named for Captain Thomas Hudner Jr., who intentionally crash landed his plane in an effort to save Ensign Jesse Brown, the nation’s first African-American Navy pilot, during the Korean War’s Chosin Reservoir campaign.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Christens Future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116)
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Christens Future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116)

The Saturday morning christening ceremony took place at Bath Iron Works’ shipyard and was attended by Captain Hudner as well as several members of his family and the family of Ensign Brown. Speakers included Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Angus King, Representative Chellie Pingree and Representative Bruce Poliquin. Allison Stiller, Principal Civilian Deputy, performing the duties and functions of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, was the principal speaker.

Georgea F. Hudner, wife of the namesake, and Barbara Joan Miller, wife of Vice Admiral Michael Miller, former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, are the ship’s sponsors and officially christened the ship by breaking bottles of sparkling wine against its bow.

Dirk Lesko, president of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, said «Our sailors and Marines depend on the tools we give them to perform when put to the test. When the future USS Thomas Hudner goes to sea as part of the Navy fleet, it will do so with the fearless spirit of an American hero backed by the promise of Maine’s shipbuilders that Bath Built is Best Built».

The keel for USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), the 36th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer built by Bath Iron Works, was laid on November 16, 2015.

Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW). Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-01-17
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS

 

Flight III

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. GDBIW
DDG-125 Jack H. Lucas HIIIS
DDG-126 Louis H. Wilson, Jr. GDBIW

 

Rafael Peralta

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of future guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) during a ceremony February 3, 2017.

The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) successfully completed acceptance trials after spending two days underway off the coast of Maine (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) successfully completed acceptance trials after spending two days underway off the coast of Maine (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Rafael Peralta is the first Arleigh Burke-class destroyer constructed at the General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard since the program was restarted in 2010. USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) is the second restart ship to deliver to the Navy, following delivery of future USS John Finn (DDG-113) from Huntington Ingalls Industries in December 2016. The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) following a series of at-sea and pierside trials which demonstrated the ship’s operational readiness. «Arleigh Burke-class destroyers continue to provide the most critical warfighting technologies to our Sailors, equipping them with the capabilities they require to meet our missions at sea», said Captain Casey Moton, DDG-51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «As the 65th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to join the fleet, Rafael Peralta will continue the proud legacy of this class». Rafael Peralta is equipped with the Aegis Baseline 9 Combat System, which includes an integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense 5.0 Capability Upgrade and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air. The ship’s IAMD radar will provide increased computing power and radar upgrades which improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare threats. The Aegis Combat System will enable the ship to link radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battle space and effectively increase the theater space. The destroyer honors Sergeant Rafael Peralta, one of the most heralded Marines from 2004’s Battle of Fallujah. In November 2010, Peralta pulled a grenade tossed by insurgents towards himself and absorbed most of the blast with his body, thus saving the lives of two fellow marines. He was mortally wounded from the grenade blast. Future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) will officially join the fleet during a commissioning ceremony in San Diego later this year. As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.  

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15    
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15    
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15    

 

Keel Laid for DDG-1002

A keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) was held January 30 at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.

Luci Baines Johnson applauds Timothy Trask, a Bath Iron Works welder, after he helped her authenticate the keel plate of DDG-1002, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, by striking an arc to her initials engraved in the plate. She was at BIW with her sister, Lynda Johnson Robb, as the two participated in the keel laying ceremony for the third destroyer in the Zumwalt class
Luci Baines Johnson applauds Timothy Trask, a Bath Iron Works welder, after he helped her authenticate the keel plate of DDG-1002, the future USS Lyndon B. Johnson, by striking an arc to her initials engraved in the plate. She was at BIW with her sister, Lynda Johnson Robb, as the two participated in the keel laying ceremony for the third destroyer in the Zumwalt class

The keel was authenticated by President Johnson’s daughters and ship co-sponsors, Ms. Lynda Johnson Robb and Ms. Luci Baines Johnson, by welding their initials into the keel plate.

«We’ve made tremendous progress on this ship and although we’re celebrating an early production milestone, we’re nearing 60 percent completion on the future Lyndon B. Johnson», said Captain Kevin Smith, DDG-1000 program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. «We’re honored to be celebrating this milestone with our 36th President’s daughters and look forward to continued progress on the final ship of the Zumwalt class».

While the keel laying has traditionally represented the formal start of a ship’s construction, advanced modular shipbuilding allows fabrication of the ship to begin months in advance. Today, the keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship’s components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.

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

Bath Iron Works is currently in production on the future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) as well Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115), USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) and USS Carl M. Levin (DDG-120).

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

 

Features unique to DDG 1000:

  • Eighty peripheral Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells, two Advanced Gun System (AGS) 155-mm guns, and two 30-mm Close In Guns (CIGs);
  • A stern boat ramp for two 7-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), designed with room for two 11-meter RHIBs;
  • Aviation capacity for two MH-60R or one MH-60R and 3 VT Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs);
  • It will be powered by an Integrated Power System (IPS) with an Integrated Fight Through Power (IFTP). This is created by an Advanced Induction Motor (AIM);
  • A superstructure with integrated apertures and low signature profile;
  • Advanced sensors including a SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar;
  • A wave-piercing «Tumblehome» hull form.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length 610 feet/186 m
Beam 80.7 feet/24.6 m
Draft 27.6 feet/8.4 m
Displacement 15,761 long tonnes/16,014 metric tonnes
Speed 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Installed Power 104,600 hp/78 MW
Crew Size 158 – Includes Aviation Detachment

 

Next-generation destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) underway for the first time conducting at-sea tests and trials in the Atlantic Ocean on December 7, 2015

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) 11-17-2011 10-28-2013 10-15-2016 San Diego, California
USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) 05-23-2013 06-21-2016
USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) 01-30-2017

 

Fifth Sea Base

On Wednesday, January 25, General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, began construction on a fifth ship for the U.S. Navy’s Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD)/Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program.

The ceremony’s honoree, Jackie Ruiz, gives her sign of approval after inspecting the first cut of steel for the ESB-5 as her son watches in the background. Jackie is the wife of Bryan Ruiz, NASSCO’s Director of Planning, and is also a former NASSCO employee
The ceremony’s honoree, Jackie Ruiz, gives her sign of approval after inspecting the first cut of steel for the ESB-5 as her son watches in the background. Jackie is the wife of Bryan Ruiz, NASSCO’s Director of Planning, and is also a former NASSCO employee

Designed to provide advanced flexibility and capability for sea-to-shore missions, the newest ESB will include a 52,000 square-foot/4,831 m2 flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, mission planning spaces and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. Serving as a «pier at sea», the 784-foot-long/239-meter-long ship is also designed to support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters and MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft.

The ship, ESB-5, is the fifth to be added to a contract between NASSCO and the U.S. Navy that originally called for two Expeditionary Transfer Docks: USNS Montford Point (T-ESD-1) and USNS John Glenn (T-ESD-2).

The first two ships, formerly classified as Mobile Landing Platforms (MLPs), were designed and constructed by NASSCO to support vehicle staging and transfers, and the movement of LCAC vessels. In 2012, a third ship, USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3), was added to the contract and reconfigured as an ESB, formerly known as a MLP Afloat Forward Staging Base, to support a wide range of military operations. All three ships have been delivered to the U.S. Navy, and in October 2015, NASSCO began construction on ESB-4, USNS Hershel «Woody» Williams.

NASSCO is the largest shipyard on the west coast of the United States conducting design, construction and repair of ships. In the past decade, NASSCO delivered more than 30 ocean-going ships to government and commercial customers, including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships and several other lead ships.

Acceptance Trials

The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) successfully completed acceptance trials December 16 after spending two days underway off the coast of Maine.

The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) sets sail for the first time to conduct initial at-sea builder's trials off the coast of Maine (U.S. Navy Photo/Released)
The future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) sets sail for the first time to conduct initial at-sea builder’s trials off the coast of Maine (U.S. Navy Photo/Released)

The U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) reviewed the ship and its crew during a series of demonstrations while underway. INSURV evaluates the ship’s construction and compliance with Navy specifications and is the governing body that recommends the ship be delivered to the U.S. Navy.

The trials were conducted both pier-side and underway. Many of the ship’s onboard systems tested to validate performance, including navigation, damage control, mechanical and electrical systems, combat systems, communications, and propulsion applications, met or exceeded Navy specifications.

«DDG-115 performed exceedingly well during acceptance trials and throughout the test and trials period», said Captain Casey Moton, DDG-51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «This ship is another example of the excellent work performed by our Navy, waterfront, and industry teams. As we continue with serial production of the Arleigh Burke class, I look forward to delivering more of these world-class ships to the fleet».

USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) is equipped with the Aegis Baseline 9 Combat System which includes an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense 5.0 Capability Upgrade and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air capability. The ship’s IAMD radar will provide increased computing power and radar upgrades that improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare threats. The Aegis Combat System will enable the ship to link radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battlespace and effectively increase the theater space.

Following delivery, USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) will be the 65th Arleigh Burke class destroyer and the first of the DDG-51 Flight IIA Restart ships to be built at Bath Iron Works. The shipyard is currently in production on future Flight IIA Technology Insertion destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) and USS Carl M. Levin (DDG-120) and under contract for three additional ships awarded as part of the five-ship multi-year procurement for FY13-17.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15

 

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.