Category Archives: Navy

Pressure hull complete

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shared on September 27, 2023 that its Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division has reached a significant milestone in the construction of Virginia-class submarine USS Arkansas (SSN-800).

USS Arkansas (SSN-800)
HII marks USS Arkansas (SSN-800) construction milestone at Newport News Shipbuilding

USS Arkansas (SSN-800) is now «pressure hull complete», meaning that all of the hull sections were joined to form a single, watertight unit.

«It’s exciting to reach pressure hull complete, because it’s a visible sign that construction has progressed to the point where Arkansas really starts to take its final shape», said Jason Ward, NNS vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction. «We absolutely understand the important mission ahead for Arkansas and are working with urgency to get this powerful national security asset to the Navy as soon as possible».

NNS is one of only two shipyards capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines. The advanced capabilities of Virginia-class submarines increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth.

This milestone comes following the christening of USS Massachusetts (SSN-798) and keel authentication of USS Oklahoma (SSN-802) at NNS so far in 2023.

Arkansas is the Navy’s 27th Virginia-class fast attack submarine. The ship’s sponsors are the six women of the historic group known as the Little Rock Nine, the first African American students to attend all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, during desegregation. NNS honored all nine members, including the three men, during the November 2022 keel authentication ceremony.


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 10-20-18 04-18-20 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-793 Oregon EB 10-05-19 05-28-22 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-794 Montana NNS 09-12-20 06-25-22 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB 07-31-21
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS 11-13-21
SSN-797 Iowa EB 06-17-23
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS 05-06-23
SSN-799 Idaho EB Under Construction
SSN-800 Arkansas NNS Under Construction
SSN-801 Utah EB Under Construction


Raimondo Montecuccoli

September 27, 2023, the delivery of the third Multipurpose Offshore Patrol ship (PPA) «Raimondo Montecuccoli» (P432) took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano.

Raimondo Montecuccoli (P432)
Fincantieri delivers the third PPA «Raimondo Montecuccoli» in Muggiano

The ceremony was attended, among others, by Vice Admiral Antonio Natale, Commandant of the Navy Schools and Institutes, Emanuele Coletti, Deputy Director of Naval Armaments – NAVARM and Mr. Joachim Sucker, OCCAR Director, welcomed by the General Manager of the Naval Vessels Division Dario Deste.

This vessel is part of the renewal plan of the operational lines of the Italian Navy vessels, approved by the Government and Parliament and started in May 2015 («Naval Act») under the aegis of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms).


Vessel’s characteristics: PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship

The multipurpose offshore patrol vessel is a highly flexible ship with the capacity to serve multiple functions, ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity to Civil Protection operations and, in its most highly equipped version, first line fighting vessel. There will be indeed different configurations of combat system: starting from a «soft» version for the patrol task, integrated for self-defence ability, to a «full» one, equipped for a complete defence ability. The vessel is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters/36 feet long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.

  • 133 meters/436.4 feet long.
  • Speed more than 31 knots/35.7 mph/57.4 kph according to vessel configuration and operational conditions.
  • 171 persons of the crew.
  • Equipped with a combined diesel, a gas turbine plant (CODAG) and an electric propulsion system.
  • Capacity to supply drinking water to land.

The Multipurpose Offshore Patrol ships will be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with deliveries expected until 2026.


Raimondo Montecuccoli, from Modena, was a general in service within the Austrian Empire. He participated with great success in all the wars fought in Europe – between 1625 and 1675 – by the Habsburg monarchy against the Dutch, Swedes, Turks and French. Initiated to a career in the church, he instead chose the military career with determination, serving the Empire and standing out in several campaigns during the Thirty Years’ War. From 1648, he held a series of very important diplomatic positions in Italy and Europe. At the peak of his career, he became the rank of General Lieutenant of the Empire (1609-1681).

He was a man with a unique culture, a very successful military writer (he was the first to further explore his studies in personnel and logistics), and was mentioned by Ugo Foscolo as the greatest and most learned Italian men at arms.

His name was previously attributed to a light cruiser of the same-named class. Unit characterized by the reputation of a lucky ship, in the headlines since 1937, when she was sent, with only twenty-four hours notice, to China. Protagonist of the battle of Pantelleria, on June 15, 1942, the vessel resulted in the loss of the destroyer «Bedouin», the «Kentucky» tank, as well as in the damage to the cruiser «Cairo», the destroyers «Ithuriel» and «Partridge», and the minesweeper «Hebe».

JS Niyodo (FFM-7)

According to Naval News, named Niyodo, the Mogami-class vessel (pennant number FFM-7) entered the water during a ceremony held on September 26 at the company’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Nagasaki Prefecture. It is expected to enter Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) service sometime in fiscal year 2024 after the fitting out stage of the frigate and a variety of performance tests.

JS Niyodo (FFM-7)
Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) launched on September 26, 2023 the seventh (of a planned fleet of 12) Mogami-class multirole frigate for the JMSDF

The vessel is named after the Niyodo River, a river in the Shikoku region of southwestern Japan. All ships of the class are named after famous rivers in Japan. There was another JMSDF ship with the same name, which is JDS Niyodo (DE-221), or the seventh Chikugo-class ship. JDS Niyodo (DE-221) was launched in August 1973 and decommissioned in June 1999.

JS Niyodo (FFM-7) is being built for about 47.4 billion yen ($318 million) under a contract awarded in March 2022, according to info obtained from the JMSDF and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).


Mogami-class specifications and systems

As with the other ships of the class, Niyodo has a full load displacement of about 5,500 tons (a standard displacement of 3,900 tons), with a length of 132.5 meters/434.7 feet, a beam of 16.3 meters/53.5 feet, a hull draught of 9 meters/29.5 feet, according to MHI. This compact hull makes it fast and maneuverable, with a top speed of more than 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 kph.

The Mogami-class frigate has a low crew complement of about 90 sailors (out of whom 10 are female), indicating a high level of automation on board.

The JMSDF has repeatedly emphasized that the Mogami-class is the first JMSDF vessels aimed at saving manpower and reducing ship construction costs, taking into consideration the JMSDF’s manpower shortage and Japan’s tight finances being caused by the declining birthrate and aging population.

For reference, the JMSDF’s Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui (DD-120), built at the same shipyard in Nagasaki, has a standard displacement of 5,100 tons, a length of 151 meters/495.4 feet, and a beam of 18.3 meters/60 feet, all of which clearly show how compact the FFM hull is. In addition, the Asahi-class has a crew complement of about 230, meaning the Mogami-class requires less than half the manpower to operate. On top of this, the construction cost of the Mogami-class is only about two-thirds of that of the Asahi-class, which costs more than 70 billion yen per ship ($470 million).

The Mogami-class is powered by a COMbined Diesel And Gas (CODAG) propulsion system featuring two MAN 12V28/33D STC diesel engines and one Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine, which provide a total of 70,000 horsepower/51.5 MW. The Mogami class marks the first installment of a CODAG system on any JMSDF ship.

Armaments on the frigates include a BAE Systems 5-inch (127-mm)/62-caliber naval gun on the foredeck of the ship, two launchers for a total of eight MHI Type 17 anti-ship missiles, also known as the SSM-2, and a Raytheon 11-cell SeaRAM Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) that can deploy RIM-116C Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAMs).

The frigates are also equipped with the OQQ-25 variable depth sonar and towed array sonar systems for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations. The ships will also be equipped with a MK41 Vertical Launch System (VLS).


Mogami-class as a Mothership

Besides anti-air, anti-surface and ASW capabilities, the Mogami-class has also been designed to undertake operations as a «mother ship» for an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) and an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), both of which will see the first installment on any Japanese frigate ever. This aims to enhance the UUV’s Mine CounterMeasure (MCM) functions.

ATLA has said that the Mogami-class will be equipped with MHI’s OZZ-5 used for MCM operations as a UUV.

The system serves an automatic detection and classification function to alleviate operator workload in processing collected data.

The OZZ-5 UUV, which measures 4 meters/13.1 feet long and 0.5 meter/1.64 foot wide with a displacement of 950 kg/1094 lbs., is equipped with Japan’s NEC-made low-frequency Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) and France’s Thales-made high-frequency SAS combinedly, which is designed to ensure a robust MCM capability for the detection and classification of different mine threats in a range of environments.

The UUV is powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery.


Mogami-class missions

According to the JMSDF, the Mogami-class is intended for surveillance missions in waters surrounding the Japanese archipelago, including the East China Sea. It will be equipped with enhanced multirole capabilities, including the ability to conduct anti-mine warfare operations, which until recently had been mainly performed by the JMSDF’s ocean-going minesweepers.

As neighboring China expands the size and capabilities of its naval forces, the Mogami-class is intended for surveillance missions in waters surrounding the Japanese archipelago. In particular, the JMSDF plans to enhance maritime security to defend the southwestern Nansei Islands, including the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, by boosting its patrol activities using compact FFM multi-mission frigates. The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan.


FFM program: What’s next?

The JMSDF had originally planned to build a total of 22 Mogami-class frigates as Tokyo ramps up efforts to strengthen the country’s naval forces under its Mid-Term Defense Program (MTDP) for fiscal years 2019-23, which was approved in December 2018.

However, in late August 2023, the defense ministry for the first time explained at its budget request for the next fiscal year 2024 that it has decided to now procure a total of only 12 such frigates until 2023, with plans to construct a new class of 12 FFMs from fiscal year 2024. The new frigates will be virtually improved Mogami-class ships.

The new-class FFM will be fitted with longer-range missiles, enhanced anti-submarine capabilities, and improved capabilities for various maritime operations.

Specifically, the ship-launched, improved version of the Type 12 SSM and the new Ship-to-Air guided Missile (or simply A-SAM) will be equipped with the new-class FFM, defense officials said.

The MoD documents, released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on August 31, said the new-class FFM has a standard displacement of 4,500 tons. Meanwhile, according to MHI’s proposal of the new-class FFM, which was officially released by the ATLA on August 25, the new warship class will feature a heavier standard displacement of about 4,880 tons, a greater overall length of about 142 meters/465.9 feet, and a wider overall beam of about 17 meters/55.8 feet. The new vessels have a top speed of more than 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 kph, according to MHI’s proposal. Despite the fact the new class will be bigger than Mogami-class, defense officials said the new class’s crew complement will be only 90, the same as that of the Mogami-class. To achieve this, Japanese naval planners have likely incorporated the new class with a higher level of automation and deployed extensive lean-manning concepts throughout the vessel.

Laser Weapon

Laser Weapon Demonstrator (LWD) trials onboard the German frigate Sachsen (F219) have successfully been completed, following on from the integration of the LWD in June 2022.

Laser Weapon Demonstrator (LWD)
Bundeswehr successfully concludes laser weapon trials at sea

The High-Energy Laser Naval Demonstrator Working Group (or ARGE), consisting of MBDA Deutschland GmbH and Rheinmetall, is responsible for development and construction of the LWD, and for supporting the trials that were planned and organised by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw).

During the trials, comprising six campaigns lasting nearly a year, the combat effectiveness of the LWD was proven in increasingly complex scenarios, under realistic operating conditions and against different target types. This included all LWD aspects: from detection and tracking (including highly agile targets); the interplay of sensors, command and weapon engagement systems, and effectors; possible rules of engagement; and of course the successful engagement of targets with a high-energy laser beam.

The LWD has performed more than a hundred test firings onboard the Sachsen and proved that a laser is capable of successfully engaging targets in a maritime environment. At the end of the trials, the LWD’s capabilities were successfully demonstrated at two VIP days in front of high-ranking representatives of the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), the Germany Navy and Army, as well as the Bundeswehr Office for Defence Planning (PlgABw), which also included shooting down a drone. Also, representatives of the British, Netherlands, and Norwegian Navy participated during the demonstration. The huge success of the test campaign was due to excellent co-operation between the BAAINBw and its subordinate detachments, the German Navy and especially the crew of the frigate Sachsen (F219), and ARGE, the industry working group.

Following nearly a year of tests, the BAAINBw and the defence industry have gained valuable knowledge into the operational possibilities, performance capabilities and development potential of high-energy laser effectors. The demonstrator is currently undergoing detailed examination, after which it will be transferred to Bundeswehr Tech­nical Centre 91 in Meppen. The test results and subsequent analysis will be used for mini­mizing risks in a possible next phase i.e. the development of an operational laser weapon system.

The prerequisites for the development of a first laser weapon have generally been set. Both companies have launched internal preparations for the development phase within their own field of responsibility.

Complementing gun-based systems and guided missiles, an operational laser weapon system lends itself particularly well to countering the threat from drones, drone swarms, speedboats and possibly missiles at close to very close range. In the future it could also undergo a performance upgrade for destroying supersonic missiles, rockets and mortar and artillery rounds.

USS Fallujah

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII’s) Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel on September 20, 2023 for the America-class amphibious ship USS Fallujah (LHA-9). The ship’s sponsor, Donna Berger, former first lady of the Marine Corps and spouse of General David H. Berger, 38th commandant of the Marine Corps, was in attendance to declare the keel «truly and fairly laid».

USS Fallujah (LHA-9)
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding authenticates keel of amphibious assault ship USS Fallujah (LHA-9)

During the authentication ceremony Ingalls Welder Seveta Gray welded the initials of the sponsor onto a ceremonial keel plate that will remain with the ship throughout its life.

«Ingalls is honored to mark this important milestone with our shipbuilders and so many of our critical partners here today», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson said. «Whether representing namesake, customer, community or shipyard, today’s keel event demonstrates the unique connection we have to one another through this industry and through our respective devotion to service».

Ingalls was pleased to host Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy Erik Raven who also provided remarks at the ceremony.

«The USS Fallujah (LHA-9), like her predecessors the USS America (LHA-5), USS Tripoli (LHA-7) and USS Bougainville (LHA-8), will one day join the amphibious fleet, and serve as the centerpiece for amphibious ready groups and Marine Expeditionary Units», Raven said. «L-class ships like the future USS Fallujah (LHA-9) make our Navy and Marine Corps a potent fighting team, forward-postured around the globe, ready to respond to crisis and disaster».

The future USS Fallujah (LHA-9) is the fourth America-class large-deck amphibious assault ship built at Ingalls Shipbuilding and the second ship in the class to be built with a well deck. Similar to Bougainville, Fallujah will retain the aviation capability of the America-class design while adding the surface assault capability of a well deck and a larger flight deck configured for F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and MV-22 Osprey aircraft. These large-deck amphibious assault ships also include top-of-the-line medical facilities with full operating suites and triage capabilities.

The America class is a multi-functional and versatile ship that is capable of operating in a high density, multi-threat environment as an integral member of an expeditionary strike group, an amphibious task force or an amphibious ready group.

Ingalls has delivered 15 large-deck amphibious ships to the U.S. Navy. The shipyard delivered the first in the new America class of amphibious assault ships (LHA-6) in 2014. The second ship in the America class, USS Tripoli (LHA-7), was delivered to the U.S. Navy in early 2020 and USS Bougainville (LHA-8) and USS Fallujah (LHA-9) are currently under construction.

212CD programme in Kiel

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, world leader in the construction of conventional submarines, on 12 September 2023 started production in Kiel of the world’s most advanced submarines. These boats belong to the Type 212CD for a joint programme with the Norwegian and German navies. The order, placed in July 2021, was the largest in the history of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to date.

Type 212CD
212CD submarines the most advanced conventional submarines worldwide

The ceremony to mark the start of construction of the first submarine for the Royal Norwegian Navy took place in the presence of Boris Pistorius, Federal Minister of Defence, and Bjørn Arild Gram, Minister of Defence of Norway, at the production facilities recently opened at the Kiel shipyard. With the newly built shipbuilding hall, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is setting global standards in modern submarine construction.

Oliver Burkhard, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, emphasized: «Maritime security is gaining importance worldwide and especially in Europe. The 212CD programme is a first decisive milestone for the establishment of state-of-the-art NATO standards in the underwater domain. With the start of construction of the first Norwegian submarine today, we have given the go-ahead and a strong signal for European cooperation. This is where partners meet as equals and jointly develop the most advanced submarines for the challenges of the future».

With the 212CD programme, the navies of two Northern European nations will for the first time use identical submarines in their fleets and benefit from interoperability and shared resources. The order comprises the delivery of two submarines to the German Navy and four to the Royal Norwegian Navy. Delivery of the first submarine for the Royal Norwegian Navy is expected for 2029, while delivery of the two boats for the German Navy is scheduled for 2032 and 2034.

Miguel López, CEO of ThyssenKrupp AG, said: «The production complex that has been built here in Kiel in just two years is one of the most modern shipbuilding halls in the world. This investment strengthens the Kiel site, ThyssenKrupp Marine as a whole, and makes an important contribution to maritime security in turbulent geopolitical times».

The six Type 212CD submarines go beyond the 212A as an entirely new generation. With enhanced situational awareness capabilities, expanded networkability with allied units and a reduced signature, the new submarines not only place new demands on production due to their imposing size, but also require state-of-the-art production lines for the fitting-out with high-tech systems.

In preparation for the order, ThyssenKrupp had already initiated investments of around €250 million in 2019. The shipbuilding hall opened at today’s ceremony will serve as a new, state-of-the-art production facility at the Kiel shipyard site, where the submarines of the future will be built.


Technical data of 212CD submarine

Displacement (surfaced) ~ 2,500 m³/88,287 feet³
Length ~ 74 m/242.8 feet
Beam ~ 10 m/32.8 feet
Height ~ 13 m/42.6 feet


Second keel laying

Babcock continues its successful delivery of the Royal Navy Type 31 frigates, with the laying of the keel for HMS Active, the second of the five-ship Inspiration class programme.

HMS Active
Type 31 frigate programme moves into multi-ship build phase with second keel laying

This marks the move into the programme’s multi-ship phase which sees two warships being built simultaneously, with work continuing only metres away on the first of the Inspiration class, HMS Venturer.

Invited guests, along with Babcock employees and their families, saw the time-honoured shipbuilding ceremony for HMS Active, in advance of a family fun day and BBQ at the Fife facility.

The keel laying event, with a focus on the skilled employees behind the build, involved placing a specially commissioned coin under the keel which will be presented to the captain and crew when the ship is ready to sail. In keeping with tradition, Babcock asked their youngest apprentice, first-year Electrical Fitter, Robbie Dick, to ‘do the honours’ and place the specially designed coin under the keel.

Amongst Babcock’s guests on the day were members of the UK Royal Navy, the UK MOD’s procurement agency Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), and representatives from Poland’s MIECZNIK frigate consortium.

The Polish frigate programme, which like the UK’s Type 31 and Indonesian Merah Putih frigate programme, is based on Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 design, recently reached a milestone of its own, cutting steel for the first of three vessels.

John Howie, Babcock’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Interim CEO Marine, said: «Type 31 is an incredibly important programme for Babcock, our Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence customer and for the wider UK Shipbuilding industry. Today we see first-hand the dedication and commitment from our team here in Rosyth, and we are hugely proud to be able to share this traditional ceremony and programme milestone for HMS Active with our customer, families and friends. The success of this programme is founded on the strong relationship with our customer and the mission we jointly share, which is inspiring our teams each and every day to strive for excellence, delivering this future capability the Royal Navy needs».

Inspired by the ship’s name, hundreds of Babcock employees also took a pledge to ‘Be Active’ and set themselves an activity-based goal during the weeks leading up to the keel laying ceremony. As part of the day, many of those who participated in the challenge joined the celebrations and swapped stories about how they achieved their own Be Active success.

Babcock continues to recruit a range of roles to support the successful delivery of the Type 31 programme. The Production Support Operatives (PSO) role, introduced in April last year, offers the chance for those without formal qualifications to work and learn alongside experienced engineers, welders, fitters, and electricians. We have also recently welcomed ten new trainee welders on an accelerated apprenticeship programme, offering the opportunity to take National Certificate and SVQ3 qualifications.

Factory acceptance tests

Navantia has successfully completed the factory acceptance tests of the AIP BEST (Air-Independent Propulsion Bio-Ethanol Stealth Technology) system for the S-80 submarines, in a testing facility unique in the world.

Isaac Peral (S-81)
Navantia´s AIP successfully performs factory acceptance tests

This milestone, crucial for the S-80 programme, has allowed Navantia to finally verify the performance and operational capabilities of the AIP in a simulated operating environment, i.e. on land but with a high degree of fidelity to the demanding conditions that the system will have to withstand during a real mission. This achievement has been made possible thanks to the test facilities built at the Cartagena Shipyard for this purpose. These facilities have unique capabilities in the defence market, such as the simulation of the ship’s operating level and its speed of advance in immersion or the possibility of testing the complete section of the submarine that integrates the system – with its 12 metres/39.4 feet in length and about 400 tonnes in weight – before it is attached to the resistant hull.

The success achieved in this milestone enables the AIP to be shipped on board the Cosme García (S-83) submarine, which as planned will be the first to feature this new serial capability. The first two submarines to be delivered to the Navy, the Isaac Peral (S-81) and the Narciso Monturiol (S-82) have a design prepared to be able to integrate this technology on board during their first major hulling.

Navantia’s AIP BEST system is one of the major innovations incorporated in the S-80 class submarines, which will provide conventional diesel-electric submarines with unprecedented tactical capabilities.

Conventional – non-nuclear – submarines are forced to sail close to the surface after a certain number of hours to recharge their batteries using their diesel engines in an operation known as snorkelling, where they are easily detected by the enemy and particularly vulnerable. AIP-equipped submarines can avoid this risk by being able to recharge their batteries while submerged at deep depths, when sailing in AIP mode, significantly extending their underwater range.

The innovative technology used in the AIP BEST system is based on fuel cells and is part of the so-called third-generation systems, i.e. those that use hydrogen produced on board from a fuel – bioethanol, in this case – instead of pure stored hydrogen for their operation. This evolution allows Spanish submarines to have a greater amount of on-board energy, being able to sail for up to three weeks in immersion with signatures comparable to those of pure electric navigation with batteries.

The development of this revolutionary technology has been an unprecedented effort for the national industry and for Navantia, after a decade of intense work, and places the Company in a preferential position for the commercialisation of the S-80 submarine in the international market.

USS Marinette

The Navy commissioned the USS Marinette (LCS-25) as the newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) during a 10:00 a.m. CST ceremony on Saturday, September 16, in Menominee, Michigan.

USS Marinette (LCS-25)
Navy Commissioned Littoral Combat Ship USS Marinette (LCS-25)

The Honorable Mike Gallagher, U.S. Representative, Wisconsin’s 8th District, delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Remarks were also been provided by the Honorable Russell Rumbaugh, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management and Comptroller; Vice Admiral Darse E. Crandall, Jr., Judge Advocate General of the Navy; the Honorable Jean Stegeman, Mayor of Menominee, Michigan; the Honorable Steve Genisot, Mayor of Marinette, Wisconsin; and Mr. Chauncey McIntosh, Vice President and General Manager, Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors. The ship’s sponsor is the Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy.

LCS-25 is the 13th Freedom-variant LCS, the 25th in the class. She is the first naval warship to bear the name of Marinette, Michigan and the third naval vessel. Marinette (YTB-791) and Marinette County (LST-953) were previously named for the community. Marinette received its name on September 22, 2016. The name recognizes the contributions of her namesake town and the great shipbuilders who bring these ships to life, ensuring they are ready to accomplish mission tasking in support our nation’s maritime strategy.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom and the Independence, designed and built by two industry teams. Lockheed Martin leads the Freedom-variant team, the odd-numbered hulls, in Marinette, Wisconsin. Austal USA leads the Independence-variant team in Mobile, Alabama, for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls.

Littoral combat ships are fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored surface combatants that operate in near-shore and open-ocean environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. LCS integrate with joint, combined, manned and unmanned teams to support forward-presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence missions around the globe.


Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System



Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 08-03-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018 10-26-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018 08-08-2020 Mayport, Florida
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018 06-15-2019 05-21-2022 Mayport, Florida
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018 01-19-2020 05-06-2023 Mayport, Florida
USS Marinette (LCS-25) 03-27-2019 10-31-2020 09-16-2023 Mayport, Florida
USS Nantucket (LCS-27) 10-09-2019 08-07-2021
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Landing Craft Utility

Austal Limited (Austal) is pleased to announce Austal USA has been awarded a US$91,535,551 (AU$143.4 million) fixed-price incentive and firm-fixed-price type contract for the construction of three Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1700 class craft.

LCU 1700-class
Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1700-class to be constructed by Austal USA (image supplied by Austal USA)

The contract follows a previous contract for the detail design of the vessels and includes options for manufacture of an additional nine vessels and associated support arrangements.

The steel hull LCU 1700-class possess heavy-lift capability with 170 ton payload capacity, and will be deployed with the Navy’s amphibious assault ships to support a range of military operations including the delivery of tracked and/or wheeled vehicles, troops and cargo from ship to shore, shore to shore and back to ship.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the new contract reinforces Austal USA’s position as a critical capability partner to the United States Navy and further diversified the company’s steel shipbuilding portfolio.

«The LCU are an essential capability of the U.S. Navy, and we’re proud to be contributing to this important shipbuilding program with up to 12 vessels to be constructed», he said.

«Austal USA continues to diversify its product portfolio, with production continuing on two Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) and the 8,500 sq metre/91,493 sq feet Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM) on the company’s state-of-the-art steel line. Austal USA also holds multiple ship contracts for the Navy’s TAGOS-25 ocean surveillance ship, and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Heritage-class Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) programs».

The LCU 1700-class has a roll-on/roll-off monohull configuration, with hydraulically controlled bow and stern ramps that allow multiple vessels to connect and form a causeway for fast and secure unloading and loading. The craft are designed to be transported within, and load/unload from the well decks of amphibious assault ships, carrying loads up to 3.5 metres/11.5 feet high, above the vessel’s vehicle deck. With a crew of 13, each vessel can conduct independent open ocean Page 2 of 3 transits or operations at sea with a range of 1,200 nautical miles/1,381 miles/2,222 km (at 8 knots/9.2 mph/14.8 kph) and a top speed of 11 knots/12.6 mph/20.4 kph.