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L'US Navy pourrait avancer la date de début de construction des futurs SSGN Virginia Block V dotés de la tranche de lancement vertical VPM

L'US Navy pourrait avancer la date de début de construction des futurs SSGN Virginia Block V dotés de la tranche de lancement vertical VPM | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

Washington – Navy officials have said they will consider moving up the date for the start of a new Virginia-class submarine program that would allow the boats to carry more firepower.

About 20 Virginia-class submarines, built jointly by Electric Boat in Groton and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, would have their hulls lengthened by about 70 feet to accommodate the so-called Virginia Payload Module, allowing the subs to carry 28 more Tomahawk cruise missiles than the Virginia class subs under construction now.

Right now the Navy has planned construction of the first Virginia Payload Module for 2019. The new design is needed to provide more undersea strike capability as the Navy prepares to retire Ohio-class guided missile submarines in the mid-2020s.

At a hearing of the House Armed Services seapower subcommittee on the Navy’s budget Wednesday, Connecticut U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, asked if the schedule for the Virginia Payload Module could be moved up.

“I just wondered if you have any thought about possibly trying to accelerate that process?’” Courtney asked.

Sean J. Stackely, assistant secretary of the Navy in charge of acquisitions, said the Defense Department is already trying to determine if the Virginia Payload Module subs could be built sooner. He asked lawmakers to “give us a couple of months to come up with” a decision.

“The earlier we can do so, the better for our nation,” Stackley said.

Stackely said the Navy must determine how quickly the module's design could be completed and whether Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding could begin building the boats earlier than planned.

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., told Stackely, “We don’t have a couple of months" to wait for the Navy's decision because lawmakers are concerned about a "gap" in the Navy's firepower.

"If you can narrow that scope down, it would be very, very helpful to us,” Forbes said.

Stackely and other Navy officials also talked with lawmakers about the impact of across-the-the board spending cuts known as sequestration and other reductions in the Navy budget.

Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy said the Navy’s budget has been cut by $25 billion over the last three years.

“We have the minimum necessary to be where it matters when it matters,” Mulloy said. “We are hanging on; we are making do.”

The Navy’s 2016 budget contains money to build two Virginia-class submarines. But that budget — and the rest of the proposed federal budget sent to Congress by the Obama administration last month — does not take into account the impact sequestration cuts, which are still in effect.

Most lawmakers, both Democrat and Republican, want to eliminate sequestration, across=the-board cuts established in the Budget Control Act of 2011 because lawmakers could not agree on a way to control spending. Partisan differences over spending priorities continue to foil all attempts to end sequestration.

Patrick H. 's insight:

En savoir plus sur le concept Virginia Payload Module (VPM) :

http://news.usni.org/2013/11/04/navy-selects-virginia-payload-module-design-concept


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L'US Navy commence les études préliminaires de conception du SSN(X), sous-marin d'attaque remplaçant des Virginia, horizon 2030

L'US Navy commence les études préliminaires de conception du SSN(X), sous-marin d'attaque remplaçant des Virginia, horizon 2030 | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

The U.S. Navy is starting early preparation work to design a new nuclear attack submarine to replace the Virginia-class boats (SSN-774) in the 2030s. The new attack boat would become operational in 2044 after the last Block VII Virginias are built.

“The long range shipbuilding plan is for a new SSN authorized in 2034 in lieu of the eighth block of Virginia-class,” Rear Adm. Dave Johnson, Naval Sea Systems Command’s program executive officer for submarines told the Naval Submarine League Symposium in Falls Church, Va., on Thursday
“2034 may seem far off, but the design research community needs to take action now.”
There will likely be an analysis of alternative for the new submarine—which has tentatively dubbed SSN(X) — in about 10 years or 2024.

That, Johnson said, leaves nine years to identify, design and demonstrate the new technologies the new attack boat will need.

Johnson said that he has formed a small team to work on a five-year plan to begin to do some of that work. The team will consult with industry and will identify the threat environment and technologies the submarine will need to operate against in the 2050 plus timeframe, Johnson said.

One of the areas Johnson has already indentified as critical for SSN(X) is integration with off-board systems. Vice Adm. Mike Connor, Commander of Submarine Force, Atlantic (COMSUBLANT), said that future submarine weapons for both the Virginia and the future SSN(X) would be networked extremely long-ranged weapons.

Some of the concepts include a new prototype torpedo propulsion system from Pennsylvania State University — a torpedo could hit targets that could hit targets more than 200 nautical miles away.

“I’m not sure I’m mentally prepared to employ a 200-mile torpedo, but I’m going to put some thought into that,” Connor said.

Connor said that while an attack boat like the Virginia or SSN(X) might launch a torpedo, the targeting data might come from another platform.

Those other platforms could include an aircraft like an unmanned aerial vehicle launched from the submarine or something like a Boeing P-8 Poseidon. In fact, in the submarine might not even guide the weapon to its target in the terminal phase of the engagement, Connor said.

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Vidéo : la mise à l'eau d'un nouveau SNA classe Virginia Block III : USS John Warner (SSN 785)

On Sept. 10, Newport News Shipbuilding launched the Virginia-class submarine John Warner (SSN 785) into the James River, kicking off the final outfitting, testing and crew certification phase of construction prior to sea trials next year.

Read the news release: http://www.ow.ly/BCcsR #SSN785 #USNavy #JohnWarner

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Un laboratoire de l'US Navy étudie les utilisations possibles des futurs tubes verticaux des SNA Virginia

Un laboratoire de l'US Navy étudie les utilisations possibles des futurs tubes verticaux des SNA Virginia | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

NEWPORT, R.I. — Inside the "launcher laboratory" at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, underneath a large hatch, stands a tube 30 feet high.

Eventually the 15-by-15-foot hatch will open and a crane will lower in weapons and sensors — and whatever other new technology defense researchers can dream up — to be launched from the "Virginia Payload Tube."

The payload tube is identical to the vertical missile launch tubes designed for new Virginia-class submarines. Beginning with the North Dakota, currently under construction, new Virginia-class boats will have two launch tubes, each with a diameter of about 7 feet, instead of 12 smaller ones that each can hold only a single Tomahawk cruise missile.

On submarines with the new, larger tubes, the Navy may eventually want to use Tomahawk missiles that can travel farther because they are bigger than the missiles used today. Or it may want to deploy unmanned aerial or undersea vehicles to collect data, sonar to look for mines, or equipment for several tasks, said Rear Adm. David M. Duryea, the warfare center's commander.

"Those are the things that are out there in the future," he said. "I think there will be a lot of excitement, a lot of innovation in that area as we go forward."

The Navy and Electric Boat are building the tube together. The Navy will test and develop new ways of using the tube at the NUWC lab before putting them on the Virginia-class attack submarines of the future.

Duryea said that after the payload tube is finished this summer he will invite businesses to the facility in Newport to measure it. They may think of new ideas for what could go in it, he added, and later, they could try out their innovations there.

"The Virginia Payload Tube significantly expands the types of payloads that can go onto submarines, and this test site will help us to incorporate sensors, weapons and other equipment that will be essential in the 21st century," said Kurt A. Hesch, EB's vice president for the Virginia program. "As a company with a long history of integrating payloads into submarines, we're looking forward to working with NUWC to provide the Navy what it needs to keep submarines as the ultimate multimission platform."

The tube is at NUWC, and not at EB, because NUWC already had a building for it, where all of the Navy departments and contractors could use it. And with the initial testing done inside a facility, it frees up a submarine that would otherwise have been needed.

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US Navy : report de l'ASA du 1er SNA Virginia Block III (USS North Dakota) en raison de reprise de travaux

US Navy : report de l'ASA du 1er SNA Virginia Block III (USS North Dakota) en raison de reprise de travaux | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - The Navy on Wednesday said it would delay the commissioning of the North Dakota, a new Virginia-class submarine that was due to enter active service on May 31, to carry out more design work and resolve quality problems with certain components.

The submarine, built jointly by General Dynamics Corp and Huntington Ingalls Industries, is returning to drydock for the additional work, according to the submarine's Facebook site. It said no new commissioning date had been set.

Colleen O'Rourke, spokeswoman for Naval Sea Systems Command, said the Navy decided to delay the commissioning because the ship needed additional design and certification work on its redesigned bow, and because of "material issues" with certain vendor-assembled and delivered components.

"The Navy is committed to ensuring the safety of its crews and ships. High quality standards for submarine components are an important part of the overall effort to ensure safety," O'Rourke said. She did not provide details on the faulty parts.

It was not immediately clear who would pay for the additional work, or how soon the ship would be commissioned.

O'Rourke said the lessons learned from work on the North Dakota were already being applied to the other follow-on ships in the next batch of submarines being built.

Bob Hamilton, spokesman for Electric Boat, the General Dynamics unit that serves as the prime contractor for the submarines, said his company still expected to deliver the ship by the original deadline of August 31.

Sources familiar with the submarine program said the Navy was taking a second look at 63 different components, including some used in the ship's stern, rudder and hydraulic systems.

Typically in weapons manufacturing, if quality problems are found with one component, all other components made by the same supplier are also reviewed carefully.

The Congressional Research Service estimates that each Virginia-class submarine costs about $2.7 billion to build. The first of the new class of submarines entered service in 2004.

The North Dakota is the first of eight ships in Block III of the Virginia-class submarines, a new design that is about 40 percent different from the previous submarines.

That means the ship is essentially the first in a new class, and the first ship often has problems associated with a new design.

Patrick H. 's insight:

Au mois de janvier dernier, on annonçait plusieurs mois d'avance dans ce programme :

http://www.scoop.it/t/newsletter-navale/p/4014981821/2014/01/29/le-1er-sna-type-virginia-block-iii-livre-pour-essais-a-la-mer-a-l-us-navy-en-avril-prochain

Comme le dit l'article du jour, le programme se recale maintenant sur le calendrier initial.

Les Virginia Block III construits à partir de maintenant (USS North Dakota) auront 2 VPT (Virginia Payload Tube) à l'avant avec un emport de 6 Tomahawk pour chaque tube.

http://www.scoop.it/t/newsletter-navale/p/4013034988/2013/12/20/le-naval-undersea-warfare-center-de-newport-a-recu-pour-essais-un-1er-virginia-payload-tube

Les Virginia Block V (construction à partir de 2019) auront en plus 4 VPT situés au milieu du sous-marin augmentant ainsi considérablement la capacité d'emport.

 En savoir plus sur ce concept :

http://www.public.navy.mil/subfor/underseawarfaremagazine/issues/archives/issue_47/virginia.html

 

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Le 1er SNA type Virginia Block III livré pour essais à la mer à l'US Navy en avril prochain ?

Le 1er SNA type Virginia Block III livré pour essais à la mer à l'US Navy en avril prochain ? | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

Groton, Conn. – While floating partially submerged in icy waters along a dock at a General Dynamics’ Electric Boat facility here, the Navy’s first Block III Virginia-Class attack submarine is being readied for sea-trials, certifications and delivery.

As a key step prior to formally handing the boat over to the Navy to begin service, Electric Boat engineers and Navy professionals are testing the electronics, wiring, missile tubes and propulsion system on-board the submarine, among other things, said Kurt Hesch,  vice president of Virginia-Class submarines, Electric Boat.

The USS North Dakota, the first Block III Virginia-Class submarine slated for delivery, is expected to be handed over to the Navy for service by April of this year.  An April or May delivery is several months in advance of its contracted arrival in August, Navy and Electric Boat officials said.

“The fact we’re delivering early to the contract delivery date demonstrates we did the re-design right, something clearly demonstrated in North Dakota’s bow taking two fewer months and 8,000 fewer mandays to build than the previous ship, USS Minnesota,” Capt. Dave Goggins, program manager,  Virginia-Class submarines told Military.com in a written statement.

Christened in November, the USS North Dakota will be the first of eight Block III Virginia-Class boats delivered to the Navy, submarines engineered with a series of technological upgrades and innovations compared to earlier Blocks I and II boats, Navy officials said. Blocks I and II, totaling 10 ships, have already been delivered to the Navy.

All eight Block III boats are being built under a $14 billion Navy deal with General Dynamics’ Electric Boat in December of 2008.

Hesch and Navy officials explained that the sea trials involve three phases. They begin with an alpha-phase which assesses the ship’s ability to dive to depth and conduct emergency surfacing operations. The alpha trials also assess the submarines propulsion plant and many of the technologies.

The bravo-phase tests the acoustics and combat systems and looks to correct any problems, followed by the Navy Board of Inspection and Survey trials where an independent board comes to inspect the boat prior to certification. The idea is to identify and address any potential issues with the boat well before it enters service with the Navy.

“The first trial is very rigorous. We are making sure we understand the water tightness and ensuring we understand the propulsion capabilities and understand the emergency systems are working. We take these incremental steps to make sure it is a fully functional and safe ship,” Hesch said in an interview with Military.com

Sea trials can last anywhere for eight to 12 weeks depending upon what issues are discovered, Hesch said.

There is a lot of testing that can only happen once the ship is underwater, such as an assessment of the nuclear-reactor, propulsion plant and dive and stern planes, Hesch explained.

“You start off going to a shallow depth to make sure everything is good, then you kind of work your way through the systems, making sure the propulsion plant is working the way it should,” he said.

The sea trials will assess everything from the sonar systems and missile tubes to on-board electronics, command and control technologies, navigation systems, sensors and submarine computer systems....

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Les postes de repos des SNA classe Virginia de l'US Navy vont être modifiés pour l'accueil du personnel féminin d'équipage

Les postes de repos des SNA classe Virginia de l'US Navy vont être modifiés pour l'accueil du personnel féminin d'équipage | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

Sub designers are puzzling out how to fit enlisted women into the berthings on the Virginia-class attack submarines already in the force.

“Right now we are doing the work to do the design changes for the in-service Virginias,” said Rear Adm. David Johnson, the program executive officer for submarines, in a Thursday speech.

“Frankly the tough part is to integrate the enlisted berthing and the chief's quarters. The officers are fairly easy to adapt to, but the enlisted berthing and the chief’s quarters you have to do a little bit of work on the ships and we're trying to do that as affordably and non-disruptively as possible,” Johnson said.

Johnson, speaking at the Naval Submarine League’s annual conference in Fairfax, Virginia, said that getting mixed-gender crews on as many subs as possible was a priority. The sub force began its integration in late 2011 with the arrival of female officers — roughly 50 of them now serve aboard 14 boomer crews — and officials are now moving towards the next steps of integrating attack boats and enlisted crews.

“We are looking forward to mixed-gender officer, chief petty officers and enlisted on our submarines going forward,” Johnson said. “It's a must, it's the right decision and we're moving forward.”

A task force led by the recently disbanded Submarine Group 2 recommended that enlisted women and chief petty officers begin serving on attack boats as the Block IV Virginia-class subs begin fleet service around 2020; these vessels are being designed with fully integrated crews in mind.

Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, head of Submarine Force Pacific, said retooling the current Virginias would not move up the timeline for getting women into attack boat crews.

The first Virginia-class attack subs to be integrated are the Virginia and Minnesota, which are slated to receive female officers in early 2015. Enlisted women will begin serving on the Ohio-class boomers as soon as 2016.

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Le 1er SNA classe Virginia Block III, l'USS North Dakota, va être déclaré opérationnel samedi prochain 25 octobre

Le 1er SNA classe Virginia Block III, l'USS North Dakota, va être déclaré opérationnel samedi prochain 25 octobre | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

Une cérémonie se déroulera samedi 25 octobre.

Le North Dakota est un nouveau sous-marin nucléaire d’attaque américain qui doit être officiellement livré cette semaine à l’US Navy. La cérémonie se tiendra sur la base des sous-marins à New London. L’USS North Dakota a vu sa construction débuter en 2009.

Le submersible est le 11e exemplaire de la classe Virginia des sous-marins nucléaire d’attaque visant à renouveler la flotte de sous-marins au sein de la marine américaine. Il est surtout le premier des huit sous-marins du block III de la classe Virginia. De nouveaux tubes lance-torpilles ont été installés à bord des Virginia Block III.

L’amiral, Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, prononcera un discours d’ouverture au cours de cette cérémonie officielle rassemblant plusieurs hauts responsables militaires impliqués dans ce programme d’armement crucial pour le futur de la sous-marinade américaine. 2400 invités sont attendus pour cet évènement.


Patrick H. 's insight:

Les Virginia Block III construits à partir de maintenant (USS North Dakota) ont 2 VPT (Virginia Payload Tube) à l'avant avec un emport de 6 Tomahawk pour chaque tube.

http://www.scoop.it/t/newsletter-navale/p/4013034988/2013/12/20/le-naval-undersea-warfare-center-de-newport-a-recu-pour-essais-un-1er-virginia-payload-tube

Les Virginia Block V (construction à partir de 2019) auront en plus 4 VPT situés au milieu du sous-marin augmentant ainsi considérablement la capacité d'emport.

 En savoir plus sur ce concept :

http://www.public.navy.mil/subfor/underseawarfaremagazine/issues/archives/issue_47/virginia.html

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L'US Navy inspecte des défauts constatés sur le matériel sécurité-plongée et manutention des armes des sous-marins Virginia Block III en armement

L'US Navy inspecte des défauts constatés sur le matériel sécurité-plongée et manutention des armes des sous-marins Virginia Block III en armement | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

Key Points

  • Navy officials are inspecting components on Block III Virginia-class submarines under construction
  • A total of 58 components were investigated on board Block III lead boat North Dakota (SSN 784)

Programme officials are inspecting six more Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) under construction following the discovery of materiel problems on board the lead Block III boat, US Navy (USN) acquisition command officials and industry representatives confirmed to IHS Jane's on 27 August.

Issues found in the materiel of vendor-assembled and delivered components on North Dakota (SSN 784) - the first of eight Block III boats - caused the USN to delay the submarine's planned May 2014 commissioning so that repairs could be completed and reviewed.

A total of 58 components, including stern planes and rudder rams, retractable bow plane cylinders, hydraulic accumulators, high-pressure air charging manifolds, torpedo tube interlocks and shaft/link assemblies, and weapons shipping and handling mechanisms were investigated on board the boat....

...

...Being built under a teaming arrangement by General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding, the third batch of Virginia-class boats were partially redesigned in an effort to reduce acquisition cost. The redesigned bow includes a new Large Aperture Bow array and two 87-inch Virginia Payload Tubes that each launch six Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles.

The issues discovered on board North Dakota are understood to be partly related to the redesigned bow introduced with the Block III design....

...

According to a NAVSEA press release, the materiel issue in North Dakota 's vendor-assembled and delivered components needed an unplanned dry-docking to correct. The boat was first floated on 15 September 2013, with its handover at the time planned for February 2014 ahead of a May 2014 commissioning.

Products associated with the vendor-assembled and delivered components were delivered to the shipyards based upon installation timing, Kurt Hesch, vice-president and Virginia programme manager at GDEB, told IHS Jane's on 27 August.

"Items that were already installed in Block III ships were inspected and repaired if necessary. These ships were earlier in the construction cycle and not yet in the water, making the re-work less disruptive," he said.

Lire l'intégralité de l'article sur Jane's :

http://www.janes.com/article/42712/usn-inspecting-block-iii-virginia-class-submarines-for-defects

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L'US Navy commande 10 nouveaux SNA classe Virginia version Block IV pour un montant record de $17,6 milliards

L'US Navy commande 10 nouveaux SNA classe Virginia version Block IV pour un montant record de $17,6 milliards | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — The US Navy announced a record $17.645 billion contract Monday to build 10 new SSN 774 Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines. The order assures prime contractor General Dynamics Electric Boat and chief subcontractor Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding of submarine orders through 2018.

The fixed-price incentive multiyear contract for 10 Block IV subs provides for two ships per year over the five-year period, each yard delivering one sub per year. The two shipbuilders share equally in a teaming arrangement to build the subs, with each yard responsible for certain portions of each hull.

“The Block IV award is the largest shipbuilding contract in US Navy history in terms of total dollar value,” said Rear Adm. Dave Johnson, program executive officer for submarines at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). It “builds upon the Virginia-class program’s successful Navy and industry relationship,” he added, calling the program “a model of acquisition excellence.”

The Block IV award covers hull numbers SSN 792 through SSN 801. None of the ships have yet been named. SSN 792 is funded in fiscal 2014. Construction of SSN 792, Electric Boat said, will begin May 1. SSN 801 is scheduled to be delivered to the fleet in 2023.

“The Navy and shipbuilders worked together to produce a contract that is both fair to the Navy and industry,” Johnson said. “This contract lowers the per-ship cost compared to Block III.”

Ten Virginia-class submarines already have been delivered and are in service, while another eight are under construction or on order. The North Dakota, first of the Block III group, is to be delivered this summer.

Electric Boat fabricates most of their submarine work at Quonset Point, R.I., and assembles the hulls at Groton, Conn. Newport News builds and assembles its submarines in Newport News, Va.

The Navy contract announcement noted that the award for $17,645,580,644 includes options for on-board repair parts for each submarine. If those options are exercised, the Navy said, the total contract value would reach $17,827,808,738.

Each submarine displaces 7,800 tons submerged, with a hull length of 377 feet and diameter of 34 feet. They are listed as “capable” of speeds greater than 25 knots with a diving depth greater than 800 feet, while carrying Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land-attack missiles and unmanned underwater vehicles.

Nearly all Virginia-class submarines have been procured under block buy or multiyear contracts, which provide shipbuilders with greater opportunities for construction efficiencies. Each successive block buy has introduced further improvements into the design.

“Block IV submarines will incorporate modifications that reduce acquisition and lifecycle costs,” NAVSEA said in its statement. “Reducing the ships’ total lifecycle cost, an initiative called ‘3:15,’ aims to decrease the number of major shipyard availabilities from four to three, allowing for an additional deployment per hull — raising each submarine’s capability from 14 to 15 full-length deployments.”

The added deployment means, according to the Navy, that the price-per-deployment is lower for Block IV subs.

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Un module de lancement et de récupération de véhicules sous-marins pour les tubes verticaux de Virginia Block III

Un module de lancement et de récupération de véhicules sous-marins pour les tubes verticaux de Virginia Block III | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

The Universal Launch and Recovery Module (ULRM) is a concept developed by General Dynamics Electric boat engineers in 2005 to produce a cost-effective large payload launch and recovery system from a Trident submarine D5 missile tube.  The capability is designed to be employed on nuclear powered submarine guided missile submarines (SSGN) and, beginning in 2019, the Block III Virginia-Class attack submarines' Virginia Payload Modules (VPMs). The system can launch unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) and other payloads up to 60 inches in diameter, 23 feet in length, and weighing up to 30,000-pounds.  ULRM interoperability with several UAVs has been discussed, to include the Sea Glider, Marlin, and Bluefin 21.

According to Electric Boat, the system will be deployed at sea for testing in an SSGN in 2015.

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Le Naval Undersea Warfare Center de Newport a reçu pour essais un 1er "Virginia Payload Tube"

Le Naval Undersea Warfare Center de Newport a reçu pour essais un 1er "Virginia Payload Tube" | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport announced a major milestone for its Virginia Payload Tube Life Cycle Support Facility, Nov. 20 – the installation of the first Virginia Payload Tube. The new facility allows Navy engineers to conduct tests with an actual Virginia-class submarine payload tube.“This unique, ship-like facility will minimize impact on ships’ operational availability,” said Paul Melancon, project lead. “It will provide future payload integration and life cycle support, leading to savings in time and money.”

The launch tube is the centerpiece of the new facility, which is scheduled to become operational with the delivery of the first Virginia-class Block III contract submarine, Pre-Commissioning Unit North Dakota (SSN 784), in early 2014. North Dakota and all future Virginia class submarines will have two payload tubes, each capable of carrying six Tomahawk cruise missiles, vice the traditional 12 vertical launch system tubes found in previous submarines. The Virginia Payload Tubes not only reduce acquisition and life cycle costs, but afford the platforms more usable payload volume.

Design work for the new facility began in 2011 with the 95,000-pound launch tube section delivered to Newport in February 2012. By May 2014, the building will be fully wired to mimic a functional Virginia class submarine’s command center.

Once completed, engineers and technicians will use the facility to troubleshoot any life cycle payload tube issues to assess new technical concepts and the integration of future large payloads.

“The [facility] will be a valuable strategic asset and reinforce NUWC Newport’s position as the world’s leader in payload integration and submarine warfare,” said Jim Lilley, deputy project lead.

NUWC Newport, part of Naval Sea Systems Command, is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Newport’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems and countermeasures.

Patrick H. 's insight:

Les Virginia Block III construits à partir de maintenant (USS North Dakota) auront 2 VPT à l'avant avec un emport de 6 Tomahawk pour chaque tube.

Les Virginia Block V (construction à partir de 2019) auront en plus 4 VPT situés au milieu du sous-marin augmentant ainsi considérablement la capacité d'emport.

 

En savoir plus sur ce concept :

http://www.public.navy.mil/subfor/underseawarfaremagazine/issues/archives/issue_47/virginia.html

 

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