Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Class’

Navy Names Virginia Class Submarine USS John Warner

January 19, 2009

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The Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter announced Jan. 8 that the next Virginia-class attack submarine will be named in honor of recently retired U.S Sen. John Warner of Virginia. Warner retired Jan. 3, 2009 after 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate.

“Senator Warner has served his country for over 63 years and has been an unwavering advocate of the men and women of our nation’s armed forces. It gives me great pleasure to be able to honor him in this manner and I thank him for his support and mentorship,” said Winter.

The USS John Warner, designated SSN 785, honors Warner’s lifetime of service to the nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Warner’s career in public service began in January 1945, the last year of World War II, when he enlisted at the age of 17 in the U.S. Navy, where he earned the rank of petty officer third class.

In the Fall of 1949, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve. At the outbreak of the Korean War in October 1950, he volunteered for active duty and was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps and served with the 1st Marine Air Wing as a ground communications officer in Korea. He continued his affiliation with the Marine Corps Reserve, reaching the rank of captain.

In February 1969, he was appointed and confirmed by the Senate as under secretary of the Navy, and succeeded Secretary John Chafee as the 61st secretary of the Navy in 1972 following Senate confirmation during the height of the war in Vietnam. During this period, Warner was designated as chief negotiator for the conference between the U.S. and Soviet navies which led to the Incidents at Sea Agreement which is still in effect today between the U.S. and Russian navies.

Entering politics in 1978, he was elected to represent the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S. Senate. He served five consecutive terms becoming the second longest serving U.S. senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia in the 218-year history of the Senate. During his 30 years of service in the Senate, Warner was a leader in national defense issues serving continuously on the Senate Committee on Armed Services. He held leadership roles as chairman or ranking member for half of his tenure on this committee and also served many years on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

In this capacity, and throughout his career, he has shown unwavering support for the men and women of the armed forces, and has been a champion of modernizing the structure and operations of the military to ensure its effectiveness in the 21st century.

This next-generation attack submarine will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. It will have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements.

USS John Warner will have 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 Warner worked on throughout his career in the U.S. Senate.

The Virginia-class is 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. It is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship – reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

The USS John Warner will be built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., in partnership with General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corporation. Warner was instrumental in developing this construction teaming arrangement concept which was later codified into law. (NNS)

USN Orders Eight More Virginia Class Attack Subs

December 23, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

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The U.S. Navy on 22 December reaffirmed the strategic need for a robust, adaptable
submarine force by awarding General Dynamics Electric Boat a contract valued
at $14 billion for the construction of eight Virginia-class submarines.

The multi-year contract allows Electric Boat and its teammate, Northrop
Grumman Shipbuilding, to proceed with the construction of one ship per year
in 2009 and 2010, and two ships per year from 2011 through 2013. The eighth
ship to be procured under this contract is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

The Virginia-class submarine is the first U.S. Navy warship designed from
the keel up for the full range of mission requirements in the post-Cold War
era, including anti-submarine and surface ship warfare; delivering special
operation forces; strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance;
irregular warfare; and mine warfare.

The contract immediately provides $2.4 billion to fund construction of SSN-
784, which has been named the “North Dakota”; advanced procurement for SSN-
785; funding to purchase materials, parts and components for multiple ships
at one time (SSN-785 through SSN-791, as yet unnamed), achieving significant
economies of scale; and funding for additional cost-reduction design changes
(known as Design For Affordability).

“This award is significant for our country, the U.S. Navy, our company and
the entire submarine industrial base,” said Electric Boat President John P.
Casey. “As we attain the production rate of two submarines per year, we will
have the stability required to further increase production efficiencies.
This will benefit the U.S. taxpayer, while providing the Navy a class of
nuclear submarines with the capabilities required to retain our nation’s
undersea superiority well into the 21st century.”

“In addition, at a time when the country has a challenging economic outlook,
this contract will provide good jobs not just in Connecticut, Rhode Island
and Virginia, but in thousands of communities across the country as our
vendors gear up for increased production on the Virginia class,” Casey said.

“Today’s contract award is an exciting moment for the entire team,” said
Matt Mulherin, sector vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman
Shipbuilding’s Newport News, Va. shipyard.  “It brings stability to the
submarine program, to our work force and to the shipbuilding supplier
industrial base for the next decade.  This achievement is also a result of
our shipbuilders’, suppliers’ and Navy partners’ successful efforts to
reduce cost, accelerate schedules and improve construction processes of the
previous Virginia-class boats.”

Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding already have delivered five
Virginia-class submarines to the Navy: USS Virginia (SSN-774), USS Texas
(SSN-775), USS Hawaii (SSN-776), USS North Carolina (SSN-777) and USS New
Hampshire (SSN-778).  Five additional submarines are under construction.

The contract comes on the heels of the shipbuilding team’s delivery of USS
New Hampshire in August eight months ahead of schedule and more than $60
million under target cost, performance that demonstrates the commitment to
reduce the cost and shrink construction schedules during the term of the

Virginia-class submarines displace 7,800 tons, with a hull length of 377
feet and a diameter of 34 feet. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25
knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet, while carrying Mark 48
advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land attack missiles and unmanned
underwater vehicles.

Navy to Christen Submarine New Mexico

December 13, 2008

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The Navy will christen its newest attack submarine, New Mexico Dec. 13 during a ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va.

U.S. Rep. Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico will deliver the ceremony’s principal address.

Designated SSN 779, New Mexico is named in recognition of the people of the ‘Land of Enchantment’. The submarine began construction under a unique teaming arrangement between Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat in 2004. The battleship New Mexico (BB-40) (1918-1946), the only other ship named after the 47th state, earned six battle stars for World War II service, which included providing shore bombardment support for landings in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, and at Guam, Tinian, Saipan, the Philippines and Okinawa.

The sixth Virginia-class submarine, New Mexico is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; battle group support; and mine warfare missions . By doing so, New Mexico will directly enable five of the six Navy Maritime Strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Cmdr. Mark A. Prokopius, a native of Seven Hills, Ohio, is the prospective commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel.

The 7,800-ton New Mexico is 377-feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged.

Virginia-Class Sub Bound for Pearl Harbor

December 8, 2008

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The commander of Submarine Force, U.S Pacific Fleet (SUBPAC) announced Dec. 4 USS Hawaii (SSN 776) will be the first Virginia-class submarine to be homeported at Naval Station Pearl Harbor this summer.

“SUBPAC is thrilled to be welcoming the most technologically advanced submarine in the U.S. inventory to our ohana,” said Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny, commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet

“Virginia-class submarines like USS Hawaii are the first to be designed post-Cold War to excel in the littorals, while maintaining the ability to conduct open-ocean operations, which will directly support my ability to meet and defeat threats to maritime security in the Pacific.”

Commissioned May 5, 2007, Hawaii was the third Virginia-class attack submarine constructed and the first submarine to be named after the island state. Her crew will represent its namesake state, as they continue to build upon already sustained relationships with multinational partners in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Adm. Robert Willard, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, was eager to take advantage of the capabilities USS Hawaii will bring to the Pacific.

“USS Hawaii represents our very newest technologies and advancements in submarine design and capability,” said Willard. “These boats contribute to a great deal of what we do to maritime security, to the employment of our special operations forces and all dimensions of warfare in the Pacific.”

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, the submarine’s sponsor, was also pleased with the announcement of USS Hawaii’s new homeport.

“As governor, I am elated the USS Hawaii (SSN 776) will make Pearl Harbor [her] home,” said Lingle.

“This fabulous journey began with the keel laying in 2004, continued with the christening in 2006 and the proud day of commissioning in 2007. As the submarine’s sponsor, watching our submarine be ‘brought to life’ has been an honor and a privilege. Now, to have our namesake submarine call Hawaii home is the culmination of an important and exciting venture. I look forward to welcoming the entire crew and the families to our state.”

Measuring 377-feet long, weighing 7,800 tons when submerged and with a complement of more than 130 crew members, Hawaii is one of the Navy’s newest and most technologically sophisticated submarines.

Hawaii conducted her first operational deployment prior to its post-shakedown availability, demonstrating the Virginia-class program’s capability to immediately support the fleet.

Hawaii’s U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye reflected on the importance of having USS Hawaii in the Aloha State.

“It is indeed fitting that the first Virginia-class submarine to arrive into Pearl Harbor will be the USS Hawaii,” said Inouye.

“I have no doubt that the men and women of the shipyard will ensure that she is fit and remains fit to fight today and in the years to follow. The USS Hawaii will be a national security beacon throughout the Asia-Pacific region. I wish its crew Godspeed and calm seas.”

Hawaii is a state-of-the-art submarine capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, strike group support, and mine warfare. She will join the force of 15 Los Angeles-class submarines presently homeported in Pearl Harbor.
Luciano Marano (NNS)

Navy’s Virginia Class Program Recognized for Acquisition Excellence

November 13, 2008
Dont Mess With Texas!

Don't Mess With Texas!

SSN 775 USS Texas sports the fighting spirit of the US Navy’s Virginia Class attack submarines: Don’t Mess With Texas! Find posters, framed panels, and calendar prints of USS Texas and other warships at The PatriArt Gallery. You’ll find the perfect Christmas or Chanukhah gift for the naval enthusiast on your list. Global shipping available. 

The Virginia Class Program Office received the 2008 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award during a Nov. 5 ceremony at Fort Belvoir, Va.

The award recognizes Department of Defense civilians and military organizations, groups or teams that demonstrate exemplary innovation and best acquisition practices. The David Packard Award is the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics’ highest award. This marks the third time that the Virginia Class Program Office has earned the Excellence in Acquisition Award. The office earned previous honors in 1996 and 1998.

The Virginia Class Program was recognized for excelling in four specific award criteria: reducing life-cycle costs; making the acquisition system more efficient, responsive, and timely; integrating defense with the commercial base and practices; and promoting continuous improvement of the acquisition process.

The program office reduced life-cycle costs by delivering submarines ahead of schedule while concurrently applying best-value analysis to more than 150 discrete design changes and production improvements. By the end of 2007, construction performance initiatives achieved $89.9 million savings per ship, and design for cost reduction initiatives saved an additional $84.2 million per ship. Since 2005, the program has reduced its overall cost by $4 billion.

The acquisition process was made more efficient, responsive and timely by meeting warfighter needs at reduced costs while shortening acquisition lead time. The program removed the requirement for full-ship shock testing based on technical merit, a first for a major weapons system. Removing the requirement saved the Navy $72 million without endangering the ship’s war fighting capability.

The Virginia Class Program Office also successfully integrated defense with the commercial base and practices. In October 2007, the program office held a joint Navy-shipbuilder LEAN Six Sigma event to examine contracting value streams. This event eliminated redundancy and waste in contracting processes while enabling acquisition events to occur ahead of schedule.

Finally, the program office’s efforts to simplify the acquisition process met the criterion of promoting continuous acquisition process improvements. During fiscal year 2007, 33 process improvement events were conducted, resulting in an estimated realized savings of $60.6 million per ship.

“The Packard award is the highest honor that an acquisition program can receive, and I am thrilled to be able to accept this on behalf of the Virginia-class team,” commented Capt. Michael Jabaley, Virginia Class Program manager. “This award is in recognition of the great work accomplished by the program office, contractors and shipbuilders who are dedicated to providing the warfighter with the best possible submarine at the best cost.”

“Earning the David Packard Award speaks volumes to the quality and ability of Virginia Class Program Office, the government support structure and our shipbuilding partners,” said Rear Adm. William Hilarides, program executive officer for submarines. “Their hard work has saved the Navy billions of dollars and ensured an active and robust submarine force.”

The Virginia class has had a memorable year thus far. For the first time in the past 12 years, the Navy commissioned two submarines of the same class, USS North Carolina (SSN 777) on May 3 and USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) on Oct. 25. Further, USS Hawaii (SSN 776) completed the technical and operational testing required to certify the lockout trunk. USS Virginia (SSN 774) conducted initial operational testing and evaluation in multiple mission areas that included her launch of the first three Tomahawk cruise missiles by the class in August. The Virginia-class program will end the year by christening its sixth ship, New Mexico (SSN 779) on Dec. 13 at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va.


http://www.USS New Hampshire Joins Fleet

October 31, 2008
USS Texas

USS Texas

USS New Hampshire (SSN 778), the Navy’s newest nuclear-powered attack submarine and the fifth of the Virginia-class, was brought to life Oct. 25 during a commissioning ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Cheryl McGuinness served as the ship’s sponsor, and gave the order to man the ship.

“Officers and crew of the USS New Hampshire, come aboard our ship, and bring her to life,” she said.

McGuinness is the widow of Lt. Cmdr. Thomas McGuinness, a veteran Navy pilot and a co-pilot on American Airlines Flight 11 that was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center by terrorists Sept. 11, 2001.

“These Sailors are standing up for our country, standing up for freedom and standing up for our protection.” said McGuiness.

“It should be comforting to know that their diligence allows all of us to truly rest knowing that they are keeping watch and that they are listening for anything that could threaten freedom.”

More than 3,500 guests, including the crew’s family and friends, submarine veterans and Portsmouth shipyard workers, attended the ceremony welcoming the submarine as the fourth naval vessel to be named New Hampshire. Approximately 1,000 additional residents of Portsmouth watched the ceremony on closed circuit television in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park, across the Piscataqua River, within sight of the ceremony at PNS.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) served as the principal speaker during the ceremony. He praised the men of USS New Hampshire, the shipyard workers, and paid special tribute to the family members.

“Remember, there are families behind all these men serving on this ship,” Gregg told the audience. “Those families sacrifice too. They have their Sailors away for months on end. Their courage, energy, vitality and vigor allow them to go on with their lives so that those Sailors can do their job of defending our nation.”

In addition to all the dignitaries present was a special group of school children. Students from Garrison Elementary School in Dover, N.H., started a letter-writing campaign in 2004, requesting the submarine bear the name of their state.

New Hampshire arrived at PNS Oct. 19 and was warmly greeted by the community. The crew was treated to many events, including a lobster bake and several receptions in the local area. Several crewmembers also received tickets to watch the National Football League’s New England Patriots take on the St. Louis Rams Oct. 26.

“To have the ship’s motto the same as the state’s motto of ‘Life Free Or Die’ is especially fitting,” said Cmdr. Michael Stevens, USS New Hampshire commanding officer.

“The New Hampshire and her crew will forge a new legacy that will be coupled together with the stories and achievements of many great New Hampshire notables who helped shape the history of the nation and this great state,” said Adm. Kirkland Donald, director of Naval Reactors.

This is the first time in 12 years that two submarines of the same class have been commissioned in the same year. USS North Carolina (SSN 777) was commissioned in May.

Cost-reduction initiatives resulted in USS New Hampshire being delivered eight months early and $54 million under budget. Some say this is just one of the reasons why the Virginia class of submarines is becoming a benchmark for future classes of naval ships.

Through their unique capabilities of stealth and endurance, Virginia-class submarines directly enable the Maritime Strategy core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection and maritime security. Equally adept at operating in the world’s shallow littoral regions and deep waters, New Hampshire will significantly contribute to the mission areas of anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; special operations forces; strike; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare.

Jennifer Zeldis

USS Virginia (SSN 774) Launches First Cruise Missile

September 7, 2008

The Navy conducted multiple launches of Tomahawk cruise missiles from USS Virginia (SSN 774) in August in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the program’s developmental and operational testing efforts.  The test launches, the first ever for a Virginia-class submarine, included the launch and extended flight of multiple missiles to demonstrate the Virginia’s launch capabilities.


“Completing the Tomahawk flight tests is an important milestone in proving the class design and brings us a significant step closer to the program’s full rate production decision in 2009,” said Rear Adm. (sel.) David Johnson, Virginia Class program manager.  “The Virginia Class was conceived and designed as a multi-purpose warship and these flight tests are another indication of the significant capabilities a Virginia submarine brings to the fight,” said Johnson.

Capt. Rick McQueen, program manager for Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) Tomahawk Program Office, noted that the missile launches were the culmination of years of joint effort between NAVAIR and Naval Sea Systems Command developers and engineers.

“Virginia Class submarines provide a brand new flexible, stealthy platform for employment of the Tomahawk Weapon System, while the Tomahawk provides the platform with a long range, accurate, and flexible strike capability to support the Navy’s warfighting roles,” said McQueen.

The Submarine Force has experienced an influx of capability during the past 15 months, according to Rear Adm. William Hilarides, Program Executive Officer Submarines.  As examples, he cited the SSGN Strike certification of USS Florida (SSGN 728) in May 2007; USS Ohio’s (SSGN 726) participation as a Special Operations Forces command, control, and support platform during the Exercise Key Resolve/Foal Eagle in February/March 2008; and the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System’s successful debut during the international Exercise Bold Monarch in May/June 2008.

“We will keep pushing the boundaries to deliver the capability to the hands of the warfighter,” Hilarides concluded.

The Virginia Class is currently executing Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) testing that is designed to evaluate the submarine’s war fighting capabilities in operationally realistic and demanding scenarios across its seven mission areas – Anti-Submarine; Anti-Surface Ship; Strike; Naval Special Warfare; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance; Battle Group Support; and Mine Warfare.  The OPEVAL testing, conducted by the Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, continues through the fall of 2008.

The Virginia Class has celebrated three construction milestones so far this year – the April 12 Keel Authentication of Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New Mexico (SSN 779), USS North Carolina’s (SSN 777) Commissioning on May 3, and the Christening of PCU New Hampshire (SSN 778) on June 21.  New Hampshire will be commissioned into the Navy on October 25 at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, marking the first time in 12 years that the Navy has commissioned two submarines of the same class in the same year.  In the coming months the Virginia Class program will also celebrate PCU Missouri’s (SSN 780) Keel Laying on Sept. 27 at General Dynamics Electric Boat’s Groton, Conn., facility, and PCU New Mexico’s Christening at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s  shipyard in Newport News, Va., on Dec. 13.

USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) Delivered to Navy Ahead of Schedule

August 29, 2008

On August 28, General Dynamics Electric Boat delivered the New Hampshire (SSN-778), the nation’s newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, to the U.S. Navy eight months
ahead of schedule, reports General Dynamics in a press release.

At a brief shipyard ceremony, Electric Boat President John Casey gave
credit to the Navy, the shipbuilders and the supplier base for  achieving the early delivery date. “This ship is a tangible reflection of the skill and craft of thousands of industry and shipyard workers. And it clearly demonstrates the nation’s commitment to a strong national defense,” he said.

“As a result of numerous production and process improvements, Electric Boat is delivering New Hampshire to the Navy in 71 months, 16 months fewer than the lead ship,” Casey continued. “Put another way, we reduced the time between when the ship enters the water and when it is delivered from 14 months on the first ship of the class to less than 6 months on the New Hampshire.”

New Hampshire is the fifth ship of the Virginia Class, the Navy’s first
major class of combatant ships designed with the post-Cold War security environment in mind. Virginia-class submarines embody warfighting and operational capabilities required to dominate the littorals while maintaining undersea dominance in the open ocean.

“Like the previous ships of the class, New Hampshire has been designed specifically to incorporate emergent technologies that will provide new capabilities to meet new threats,” Casey said. “This enables the Virginia Class to make unique and significant  contributions to national security for decades to come,” he said.

Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding have received contracts to build the first 10 submarines of a planned 30-ship Virginia Class under a teaming agreement that splits the construction workload between the two shipyards.

Virginia-class characteristics

Displacement:  7,835 tons

Length:  377 feet

Beam:  34 feet

Payload:  40 weapons; special operations forces; 
                unmanned undersea vehicles

Weapons Launch:   Four 21-inch torpedo tubes;     
                               12 vertical-launch system tubes

Weapons:  Tomahawk land-attack missiles;
                  Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes

Crew: 134 officers and enlisted men

Ships of the Virginia class

    — USS Virginia (SSN-774)

    — USS Texas (SSN-775)

    — USS Hawaii (SSN-776)

    — USS North Carolina (SSN-777)

    — New Hampshire (SSN-778)

    — New Mexico (SSN-779)

    — Missouri (SSN-780)

    — California (SSN-781)

    — Mississippi (SSN-782)

    — Minnesota (SSN-783)

    — North Dakota (SSN-784)

SOURCE  General Dynamics Electric Boat

Virginia-Class Boats Sailing Into ActionOut of the nine fast-attack boats underway in the Atlantic Ocean, four of them are Virginia-class submarines.

August 15, 2008

Out of the nine fast-attack boats underway in the Atlantic Ocean, four of them are Virginia-class submarines.

USS Virginia (SSN 774), USS Texas (SSN 775), USS North Carolina (SSN 777) and Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New Hampshire (SSN 778) are all currently conducting exercises and tests off the Atlantic coast.

USS Hawaii (SSN 776), the first Virginia-class boat to deploy, is currently at General Dynamics Electric Boat conducting a post-shakedown availability, an industrial activity availability assigned to correct deficiencies found during the shakedown cruise or to accomplish other authorized improvements.

“Having three of the four operational Virginia-class boats and PCU New Hampshire at sea is a reflection of the hard work, dedication and team work that is our submarine force,” said Capt. Robert Clark, Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 4 commodore. “This will become a common occurrence in the future, but today it’s the crowning achievement of a huge cast of people who made it possible.”

SUBRON 4 has become known as the “Virginia-class Center of Excellence.” They are the parent squadron to every Virginia-class boats’ transition to become an operational fleet unit.

“It’s a real feather in the cap of the submarine force to be able to take a new design from concept through real employment in such a short time and in such an efficient and effective manner,” said Clark.

Virginia-class attack submarines provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements.

James Stockman

USS New Hampshire Completes Alpha Sea Trials

August 1, 2008

USS New Hampshire (SSN 778), the nation’s newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, returned to the Electric Boat shipyard at Groton, Connecticut on 31 July following the successful completion of its first voyage in open seas, called alpha sea trials.

USS New Hampshire’s alpha sea trials included submerging for the first time, performing a range of submarine and propulsion-plant  operations and conducting high-speed runs on the surface and underwater to demonstrate that the ship’s propulsion plant is fully mission-capable.  USS New Hampshire will be delivered to the U.S. Navy by the end of summer.

    “I’m privileged to have participated in the successful propulsion plant sea trial for a Virginia-class submarine,” said Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Adm. Kirkland Donald, who directed the sea trials.

 “New Hampshire, the fifth of the Virginia Class, performed  satisfactorily in all operations and this success is a direct result of the hard work of both the crew and the shipbuilders, Adm. Donald said.  “The Navy and the nation need submarines like New Hampshire and I am confident that she will support the missions for which she was designed.”

The team reduced the time span between christening and sea trials from 11 months on the USS Virginia (SSN 774), the first ship of the Virginia Class nuclear attack submarines, to less than six weeks on the USS New Hampshire.