Tag Archives: Newport News Shipbuilding

She’s underway!

The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is underway for its first set of sea trials, known as Builder’s Sea Trials (BST). Builder’s sea trials provide an opportunity to test systems, components and compartments at sea for the first time.

The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway on its own power for the first time. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – will spend several days conducting builder's sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship's key systems and technologies (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/Released)
The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway on its own power for the first time. The first-of-class ship – the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years – will spend several days conducting builder’s sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/Released)

Over the next several days, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) Sailors, shipbuilders from Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS), the Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding and Naval Sea Systems Command personnel will be working side-by-side testing many of the ship’s key systems and technologies.

«The U.S. Navy and our industry partners are excited to have the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway under her own power for the first time, executing a rigorous and comprehensive test program for this first-of-class ship», said Rear Admiral Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers. «This milestone is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, and we look forward to learning a great deal during sea trials. We will continue to work together to deliver Ford’s critical capabilities to the fleet».

Future USS Gerald R. Ford underway for Builder's Sea Trials (BST)
Future USS Gerald R. Ford underway for Builder’s Sea Trials (BST)

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B* nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

* – Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. serves the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program

Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is the first new aircraft carrier design in 40 years, replacing the Nimitz-class of carriers
Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is the first new aircraft carrier design in 40 years, replacing the Nimitz-class of carriers

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)
The new aircraft carrier class was redesigned from the keel to the mast of the island house
The new aircraft carrier class was redesigned from the keel to the mast of the island house

Initial Sea Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that the newest Virginia-class submarine (VCS), USS Washington (SSN-787), successfully completed its initial sea trials on Sunday. Sea trials test the submarine’s capabilities at sea. Washington was built as part of a teaming agreement between HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) successfully completed its initial sea trials on Sunday, April 2, 2017 (Photo by Ashley Major/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) successfully completed its initial sea trials on Sunday, April 2, 2017 (Photo by Ashley Major/HII)

«The ship and its crew performed exceptionally well», said Matt Needy, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «It was truly an amazing process to see the hundreds of suppliers and the many thousands of shipbuilders from both Newport News and Electric Boat work closely with the ship’s crew to bring this great warship to life».

All systems, components and compartments were tested during the trials. The submarine submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater. Washington will undergo a round of acceptance trials before delivery to the Navy by Newport News.

Construction of Washington, which began in September 2011, marked the beginning of the VCS program’s two-submarines-per-year build plan for Newport News.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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 Under Construction
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

The Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) completed the initial sea trials in March 2017

Superlift to Kennedy

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division lifted a 704-metric ton unit into Dry Dock 12, where the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is taking shape. The superlift is part of an improved build strategy implemented on the second ship of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class, resulting in superlifts erected at a higher state of outfitting completion.

On January 17, Newport News Shipbuilders lifted a 704-metric-ton unit into Dry Dock 12, where the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is taking shape (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
On January 17, Newport News Shipbuilders lifted a 704-metric-ton unit into Dry Dock 12, where the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is taking shape (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

«For Kennedy, increased pre-outfitting puts into practice one of many lessons learned from Gerald R. Ford», said Mike Shawcross, Newport News’ vice president, CVN-79 construction. «This superlift will erect the first portion of hangar bay».

The unit, which has been under construction since August 2015, is made up of 22 smaller units and comprises small equipment and machinery rooms, berthing, and other quality-of-life spaces, such as the barber shop and post office. It measures about 80 feet/24.4 m long and 105 feet/32 m wide. Like Ford, Kennedy is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form large structural units, equipment is installed, and the large units are lifted into the dry dock using the shipyard’s 1,050-metric ton gantry crane.

Kennedy is about 25 percent complete. The carrier is on track to be completed with 445 lifts, which is 51 fewer than Ford and 149 less than USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the last Nimitz-class carrier. About 140 lifts have been placed in the dock and joined together since the ship’s keel was laid in August 2015. Kennedy is scheduled to be launched in 2020 and deliver to the Navy in 2022, when it will replace USS Nimitz (CVN-68).

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Superlift

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

 

Pressure hull complete

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on September 1 that the Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) is «pressure hull complete», signifying that all of the submarine’s hull sections have been joined to form a single, watertight unit. USS Washington (SSN-787) will be the U.S. Navy’s 14th Virginia-class submarine (VCS) and the seventh to be delivered by HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.

The Virginia-class submarine Washington is «pressure hull complete», a construction milestone signifying that all of the submarine’s hull sections have been joined to form a single, watertight unit. The boat is currently 83 percent complete (Photo by Ricky Thompson/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine Washington is «pressure hull complete», a construction milestone signifying that all of the submarine’s hull sections have been joined to form a single, watertight unit. The boat is currently 83 percent complete (Photo by Ricky Thompson/HII)

«Pressure hull complete is an exciting step toward the boat’s completion because it’s the point when the submarine really starts to take its final shape and is the last major construction milestone before christening and delivery next year», said Jim Hughes, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «As with all of our Virginia-class submarines, Washington represents a true team effort that involves our partners at General Dynamics Electric Boat, the Navy, our suppliers and the Washington crew».

Washington’s construction, which began in September 2011 under a teaming arrangement between Newport News and Electric Boat, marked the beginning of the VCS program’s two-submarines-per-year build plan. The ship is currently 83 percent complete.

«Over the last year and a half, I have enjoyed watching the many parts that make up a submarine come together», said Commander Jason Schneider, Washington’s commanding officer. «I can truly say Washington now looks like a submarine on the outside. I look forward to seeing the systems that make up the internals of the submarine continue to come together as we approach launch and delivery».

The bow unit of the submarine Washington (SSN-787) is transported out of the Supplemental Modular Outfitting Facility
The bow unit of the submarine Washington (SSN-787) is transported out of the Supplemental Modular Outfitting Facility

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

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
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
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 Under Construction
SSN-787 Washington NNS Under Construction
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
SSN-792 Vermont EB Under Construction
SSN-793 Oregon NNS Under Construction
SSN-794 (Unnamed)
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover
SSN-796 New Jersey
SSN-797 (Unnamed)
SSN-798 (Unnamed)
SSN-799 Idaho
SSN-800 (Unnamed)
SSN-801 (Unnamed)
SSN-802 (Unnamed)
SSN-803 (Unnamed)
SSN-804 (Unnamed)
SSN-805 (Unnamed)

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

SSN – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered

USS Washington (SSN-787)
USS Washington (SSN-787)

John F. Kennedy

Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), on August 22 celebrated the keel laying of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), the second ship of the Gerald R. Ford class. Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the ship’s namesake, the 35th President of the United States, is the ship’s sponsor. She declared the keel «truly and fairly laid» via video to signify the ceremonial start of construction.

Newport News Shipbuilding Celebrates the Keel-Laying of Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)
Newport News Shipbuilding Celebrates the Keel-Laying of Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)

«The aircraft carrier came of age in a time of conflict», Caroline said. «It was untested, and the capabilities it brought were questioned. Since those early days, the carrier has come to be recognized as a symbol of peace, strength and freedom».

Caroline’s video was introduced by her cousin, Representative Joseph Kennedy, Democrat-Massachusetts. Other ceremony participants included Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; Representative Randy Forbes, Republican-Virginia; Representative Bobby Scott, Democrat-Virginia; Vice Admiral William Hilarides; Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy Sean Stackley; Rear Admiral Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of CVA-67, the first aircraft carrier to bear the name John F. Kennedy; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin.

During the ceremony, Caroline’s initials were welded onto a steel plate by Leon Walston, a Newport News welder from Massachusetts. The plate will be permanently affixed to the ship, signifying the sponsor’s enduring relationship with the shipbuilders and crew.

In his remarks, Stackley expressed the significance of aircraft carriers, calling upon shipbuilders to recognize the importance of what they build. «They are our nation’s great instruments of security and … of goodwill», he said. «In times of crisis, they are the first to respond, and when called upon, they will deliver the final word in the bidding of our nation. So let this great purpose serve as a constant reminder – as inspiration to you, the men and women of Newport News Shipbuilding – that shipbuilding is not just what you do; it is who you are. And that building great ships – it is not just your tradition; it is your duty».

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is the second aircraft carrier in the Ford Class
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is the second aircraft carrier in the Ford Class

Governor McAuliffe emphasized the importance of John F. Kennedy’s future presence in the U.S. Navy fleet. «President John F. Kennedy was an inspiration to all of us», he said, «so it is only fitting today that we now have a U.S. President who now will have two aircraft carriers named after him».

Representative Joseph Kennedy spoke of the original USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) and its legacy that will continue with the new aircraft carrier. «USS John F. Kennedy demonstrated strength to our enemies and support for our allies», he said. «Today, as we lay the keel of CVN-79, the next USS John F. Kennedy, we begin construction on a ship with the same mission and the same spirit, but with new capabilities and a new generation».

Mulherin spoke of the shipbuilders constructing USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), highlighting their commitment to ethics once emphasized by President Kennedy. «While this aircraft carrier that we lay the keel for today will serve as a tangible legacy of our nation’s 35th President, so too will the people behind the steel», he said. «When we say the greatest shipbuilders in the world work right here, it isn’t just because we build the most sophisticated ships known to man. It is also because of the way in which we build them. Our shipbuilders demonstrate ethics, integrity and courage every day».

John F. Kennedy will be the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the 35th President. Crew members who served on the first USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) attended and were recognized during the ceremony. To conclude the event, Yates, the first commanding officer of CVA-67, signaled crane operators to lift the aircraft carrier’s engine room No. 2 unit into the dry dock while more than 1,500 guests watched.

A composite photo illustration representing the Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). The carrier, underconstruction at Newport News Shipbuilding, is the second Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the second U.S. Navy carrier named for the 35th U. S. President
A composite photo illustration representing the Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). The carrier, underconstruction at Newport News Shipbuilding, is the second Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the second U.S. Navy carrier named for the 35th U. S. President

 

Quick Facts about CVN-79

Kennedy is the 2nd ship of the Ford class.

At an official naming ceremony at the JFK Library on May 29, 2011, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier CVN-79 would be called the USS John F. Kennedy. The announcement was made on what would have been the 94th birthday of President John F. Kennedy.

Since the first cut of steel in 2010, more than 450 of the ship’s 1,100 structural units have been constructed, and more than 60 percent of the total ship’s material funding has been committed to vendors.

CVN-79 marks the second aircraft carrier to be named for the late president. The first, a conventionally-powered carrier, served from 1968 to 2007 and was also built by Newport News Shipbuilding.

Shipbuilders have captured 60,000 lessons-learned from the seven-year process of building Gerald R. Ford, many that are already being implemented as cost-saving initiatives in building John F. Kennedy.

Caroline Kennedy smashes a bottle of American sparking wine across the bow of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) in 1967 (Image courtesy of the Daily Press)
Caroline Kennedy smashes a bottle of American sparking wine across the bow of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) in 1967 (Image courtesy of the Daily Press)

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+
Leon Walston, a Newport News Shipbuilding welder from Massachusetts, displays the welded initials of Caroline Kennedy, the sponsor of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). Also pictured (left to right) are Rear Admiral Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67); Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; and Representative Joseph Kennedy (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
Leon Walston, a Newport News Shipbuilding welder from Massachusetts, displays the welded initials of Caroline Kennedy, the sponsor of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). Also pictured (left to right) are Rear Admiral Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67); Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; and Representative Joseph Kennedy (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

Commission Submarine

The Navy commissioned its newest fast attack submarine, the USS John Warner (SSN-785), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, August 1, 2015, at Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia.

She will be the first in the class to be named after a person
She will be the first in the class to be named after a person

John Warner, designated SSN-785, honors Senator John W. Warner for a lifetime of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia and to the United States of America as a trusted leader, statesman and public servant. He wore the uniform of American nation as both a Marine and sailor and served as the 61st Secretary of the Navy, 1972-1974.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Jeanne Warner, wife of Senator Warner, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

«The commissioning of USS John Warner marks the beginning of what is expected to be 33 years of distinguished service for this great submarine – a fitting tribute to a man who served his nation for so long as a sailor, a Marine, a United States Senator and, as one of my most esteemed predecessors as Secretary of the Navy», said the Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the U.S. Navy. «This ceremony is not only a celebration of a man who dedicated so much of his life to his country and to the Department of the Navy, but also a reminder of the partnership our Navy shares with the shipbuilding industry in Senator Warner’s home state of Virginia and the continued success of the Virginia-class attack submarine program».

USS John Warner (SSN-785) is the 12th Virginia-class fast attack submarine. While other Virginia-class submarines have been named after U.S. states, SSN-785 holds the distinction of being the first to be named after a person. This next-generation attack submarine provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. It will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements.

USS John Warner (SSN-785) has the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. It is also designed for Special Forces delivery and support, a subject senator John Warner worked on throughout his career in the U.S. Senate.

Virginia-class submarines are built with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship – reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed Jun 25, 2015
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-inch/2.2-meter 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 Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) completed alpha sea trials on Saturday. All systems, components and compartments were tested. The submarine also submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) completed alpha sea trials on Saturday. All systems, components and compartments were tested. The submarine also submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

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
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
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

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

John Warner Delivered

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division delivered the nuclear-powered fast attack submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) to the U.S. Navy on Jun 25, 2015. The Virginia-class submarine, the first to be named for a person, was delivered two and a half months ahead of schedule.

The submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) delivered on June 25, 2015, two and a half months ahead of schedule (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
The submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) delivered on June 25, 2015, two and a half months ahead of schedule (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

«This submarine embodies the spirit of Senator Warner and symbolizes his unwavering support for the Navy and the shipyard», said Jim Hughes, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «It’s truly special to have a boat named after a living person, and we as shipbuilders are proud to deliver John Warner to the Navy because this submarine will continue Senator Warner’s enduring legacy».

John Warner is the 12th Virginia-class submarine and the sixth to be delivered by Newport News. Nearly 4,000 shipbuilders have worked on the submarine since construction began in 2010. The nuclear-powered fast attack submarine was named for John Warner, who served as Secretary of the Navy and represented Virginia in the Senate for 30 years. USS John Warner (SSN-785) was christened by Senator Warner’s wife, Jeanne Warner, on September 6, 2014. Commissioning is scheduled on August 1.

«Today, we are excited to join the operational fleet and to bring Senator Warner’s legacy back to the Navy, carrying on his tradition of service to our nation», said Commander Dan Caldwell, the submarine’s commanding officer. «The crew and the ship have performed exceptionally well during the acceptance trials, and we are prepared and excited to conduct the operational missions which await us».

Newport News is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build Virginia-class submarines, which use advanced technologies to increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth. The 377-foot-long/114.8-meter-long submarines are capable of submerged speeds of more than 25 knots/28 mph/46.3 km/h and can stay submerged for up to three months at a time.

She will be the first in the class to be named after a person
She will be the first in the class to be named after a person

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed Jun 25, 2015
Propulsion One S9G* nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.5156 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-inch/2.2-meter 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 Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) completed alpha sea trials on Saturday. All systems, components and compartments were tested. The submarine also submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) completed alpha sea trials on Saturday. All systems, components and compartments were tested. The submarine also submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

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
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
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

Alpha sea trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on May 26 that the newest Virginia-class submarine, USS John Warner (SSN-785), successfully completed its initial sea trials on Saturday. Sea trials are aggressive operational tests that demonstrate the submarine’s capabilities at sea. John Warner, the first Virginia-class submarine to be named for a person, is being built as part of a teaming arrangement between HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) completed alpha sea trials on Saturday. All systems, components and compartments were tested. The submarine also submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) completed alpha sea trials on Saturday. All systems, components and compartments were tested. The submarine also submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

«Alpha sea trials represent the first underway test of the quality of the craftsmanship that went into the construction of this great vessel and the skill of the crew that operates her», said Jim Hughes, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «Both the ship and the crew performed incredibly well, resulting in extremely successful trials that enable the ship to advance directly into its next set of tests. The USS John Warner is now well on its way to being another successful and early Virginia-class delivery».

All systems, components and compartments were tested during the trials. The new submarine submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater. USS John Warner (SSN-785) will undergo several more rounds of sea trials before delivery to the U.S. Navy by Newport News.

«The sea trials were a huge success», said Commander Dan Caldwell, the submarine’s prospective commanding officer. «The ship is in great material condition, and I could not be more proud of the way the crew performed. They have worked tirelessly for the last two years preparing to take this ship to sea, and it showed during sea trials. We look forward to completing the ship’s delivery and joining the operational fleet».

Construction of John Warner began in 2010. The boat is 99 percent complete and on schedule to deliver next month – more than three months ahead of its contracted delivery date.

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

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
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
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14
SSN-786 Illinois EB Under Construction
SSN-787 Washington NNS Under Construction
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
SSN-792 Vermont EB Under Construction
SSN-793 Oregon NNS Under Construction
SSN-794 (Unnamed)
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover
SSN-796 New Jersey
SSN-797 (Unnamed)
SSN-798 (Unnamed)
SSN-799 (Unnamed)
SSN-800 (Unnamed)
SSN-801 (Unnamed)
SSN-802 (Unnamed)
SSN-803 (Unnamed)
SSN-804 (Unnamed)
SSN-805 (Unnamed)

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

She will be the first in the class to be named after a person
She will be the first in the class to be named after a person

Keel for Indiana

The keel of the 16th Virginia-class attack submarine, named after the 16th largest state, was laid May 16 at Newport News Shipyard. She is the third ship to bear the name Indiana, and will be the first in almost 70 years to sail under the national colors with that name. It is said in the Navy Times that the ship’s sponsor, Diane Donald, the wife of retired Admiral Kirk Donald, a former director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, declared the keel «to be truly and fairly laid». Diane Donald authenticated the keel with her initials, which were welded onto a metal plate and permanently affixed to the ship.

Heather Johnson, a 37-year-old mother of four, has the honor of being the first female welder at Newport News Shipbuilding to weld the sponsor's initials on a Virginia-class submarine (Photo by John Whalen/HII)
Heather Johnson, a 37-year-old mother of four, has the honor of being the first female welder at Newport News Shipbuilding to weld the sponsor’s initials on a Virginia-class submarine (Photo by John Whalen/HII)

Construction on Indiana, the sixth of eight Block III variants, started in September 2012. The state is known as «the crossroads of America», and its namesake honors that motto well. She carries millions of parts from 5,000 suppliers located in all 50 states. Assembling these parts is what Jim Hughes, vice president for Submarines and Fleet Support, called «one of the biggest orchestras in the world». The symphony carefully played by 4,000 shipbuilders will now unite hull sections into a 377-foot/114.8 m military masterpiece that will crescendo with its 2017 commissioning, then slip into three decades of silent service.

Her missions will be many and multifaceted. The Virginia class has a large lock-in/lock-out chamber, and a reconfigurable torpedo room to accommodate more snake eaters. She will carry roughly three dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles. Traditional periscopes have been replaced by photonics masts with high-resolution cameras and infrared sensors. A fly-by-wire ship control system provides unmatched operation in shallow littoral areas.

A shipbuilder on a lift works on the stern unit of Indiana (SSN-789) at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2013 (Photo by Ricky Thompson/HII)
A shipbuilder on a lift works on the stern unit of Indiana (SSN-789) at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2013 (Photo by Ricky Thompson/HII)

While the Virginia class boasts these and other upgrades in weaponry and other tactical equipment, its biggest edge is in acoustics, said Commander Jesse Zimbauer, the ship’s skipper. Among its many advances, the Block III variant vastly improved passive detection by replacing the traditional sonar sphere with the Large Aperture Bow array. «We are building the future with this submarine», said Jesse Zimbauer, who «jumped on the opportunity» to be part of the pre-commissioning unit.

A keel laying is the symbolic beginning of building a ship, originating from the large structural beam, or keel, that serves as the foundation or spine of the ship’s hull. Although modular construction techniques mean that the ship is no longer built from the bottom up, the keel laying is still celebrated as a momentous event in the ship’s construction. During the keel laying ceremony, the ship’s sponsor authenticates the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate. The initials are then welded onto a plate that is permanently affixed to the ship.

Diane Donald, the Indiana's sponsor, looks over her initials on a steel plate held by welder Heather Johnson of Newport News Shipbuilding
Diane Donald, the Indiana’s sponsor, looks over her initials on a steel plate held by welder Heather Johnson of Newport News Shipbuilding

 

INDIANA (SSN-789) FACTS

  • Navy names SSN-789 in honor of the state of Indiana: April 13, 2012
  • Construction start: September 2012
  • Keel Authentication Ceremony: May 16, 2015
  • Ship’s sponsor: Ms. Diane Donald, wife of retired Admiral Kirk Donald
  • Number of NNS shipbuilders who support Indiana construction: 4,000
  • Officers and Crew: Currently, 57; At delivery 135; Commanded by Jesse Zimbauer
  • Indiana is about 48 percent complete and is on track to complete in summer 2017
  • Indiana is the 16th ship of the Virginia class
A unit for the Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN-790) under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2014 (Photo by Chris Oxley)
A unit for the Virginia-class submarine South Dakota (SSN-790) under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2014 (Photo by Chris Oxley)

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One S9G* nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.5156 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles 12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

A panorama of the shipyard shows the bow unit of Illinois (SSN-786) being moved to the sea shuttle (right) June 24, 2014. Illinois is being delivered to the Navy by General Dynamics Electric Boat (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
A panorama of the shipyard shows the bow unit of Illinois (SSN-786) being moved to the sea shuttle (right) June 24, 2014. Illinois is being delivered to the Navy by General Dynamics Electric Boat (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)