Wednesday, October 21, 2009



"General Dynamics' Littoral Combat Ship Independence Completes Builder's Trials"
By: PR Newswire Oct. 21, 2009

MOBILE, Ala., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Independence (LCS 2), the innovative high-speed trimaran combatant ship being constructed by shipbuilder Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., as part of the General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship Team, successfully completed a series of tests known as builder's trials on October 18 in the Gulf of Mexico. The trials included more than 50 demonstration events that rigorously test the ship and all of its systems in preparation for final inspection by the Navy before delivery.

Notable achievements during the trials included reaching a sustained speed of 44 knots during the required four-hour full-power run, with a top speed in excess of 45 knots...

Many of the test events were conducted in high sea-state and wind conditions (8-foot waves and winds in excess of 25 knots). Despite the weather, the ship repeatedly reached speeds of over 45 knots with propulsion and ride-control systems operating in full automatic mode, proving the effectiveness of the control systems and the highly efficient and stable characteristics of the trimaran hull form.

A series of high speed ahead and astern maneuvers in these sea state conditions proved the effectiveness of the ship's four steerable water jets. During the repeated high-speed turns the ship demonstrated excellent agility and stability characteristics.

The ship's flight deck remained stable despite sea state conditions and maneuvers...

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is the prime contractor for the General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship Team. Partners include shipbuilder Austal USA (Mobile, AL); General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (Fairfax, VA); BAE Systems (Rockville, MD); L3 Communications Marine Systems (Leesburg, VA); Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (Baltimore, MD); and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (Baltimore, MD).

Bath Iron Works employs approximately 5,700 people. Since 1991, BIW has manufactured and delivered 31 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers; the shipyard is also building the lead ship of the Navy's Zumwalt (DDG 1000) class of guided missile destroyers.

Austal USA's Mobile facility currently employs almost 1,000 workers and is the largest aluminum shipyard in the world. In addition to the LCS, recent projects have included construction of the largest-ever aluminum ferry in the United States. Austal is also in the pre-construction design phase on the first Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) for the U.S. Department of Defense...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good blog coverage and comments elsewhere...

Springbored's Springboard has some good posts and reader comments on both LCS and JHSV. See: Austal: Indications And Warmings and What Do Austal's Other Monster Trimarans Mean For LCS-2?

Which has a reader comment link to the following:


Naval fast logistic vessels

Naval fast logistic vessels

Economic fast strategic sea-lift

The Rolls-Royce family of speed troop transport and fast logistic vessel designs have the rare combination of long range and high speed with relatively high payload. Technology transfer across commercial and naval applications has led to these 40 knot vessel designs capable of meeting emerging military needs.

Intra-Theatre Logistics Vessel - A fast steel monohull vessel configured to deliver capability within Operational Theatre. The vessel is designed to operate at an average speed greater than 40 knots and has a long- self-deployment range.

The design uses a monohull commercial ropax hull design with a wave-piercing bow. With a range of 3,000nmiles, 2,500 tonnes of cargo can be transported at 40 knots, almost twice as fast as existing ships of equivalent payload.

The smaller Intra-Theatre Logistic Vessel has a cargo area of 2,310m² and is capable of transporting up to 350 troops over 4,000nm at 40 knots.

Specific military features include a helicopter landing area amidships capable of accommodating an aircraft up to Chinook size.

Friday, October 16, 2009

LCS-1 Freedom to deploy ahead of schedule


Business Briefs
Thursday, October 15, 2009

LCS Freedom to deploy ahead of schedule

The littoral combat ship Freedom will be deployed two years early, in early 2010, U.S. Navy officials announced Tuesday.

In a written statement, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead called the decision "a big step forward in getting this ship where it needs to be," operating in shallow waters in the Pacific and near South America.

Built by Lockheed Martin Corp., Freedom is the first of two LCS. The second, Independence, was built in Mobile at Austal USA by a General Dynamics Corp.-led team

Independence is in testing and scheduled for delivery by year's end.

The Navy has said it will, in 2010, choose between the two LCS designs before ordering additional ships...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

LCS-2 Takes on Water...Déjà vu...flashback to Austal welder's radio interview in April 2008

The following interesting news brief today out of Mobile, Alabama. This reminds me of comments by former Austal first class welder Wayne Jenkins in a radio interview from April 2008. A link to that interview is here at Disappeared News. In that interview Wayne speaks about this area of the ships. Might venture a guess to check the welds, and the production processes used to deal with possibly imperfect aluminium "butt welds"?


Business Briefs
Saturday, October 10, 2009

LCS-2 Independence takes on water

General Dynamics Corp. said this week that the jet-drive compartment on the Austal-built littoral combat ship Independence took on an undetermined amount of water Oct. 1. The compartment is an unmanned space that houses waterjets, gears and other mechanical and electrical equipment for the ship's propulsion system.

"When (Austal) discovered the issue, they dewatered the space," said General Dynamics spokesman Jim DeMartini. "At this stage, we're pretty well back on track."

The flooding resulted in the replacement of some components, though nothing major, he said. General Dynamics, Austal and the Navy are investigating the cause, he said.

The new breed of shallow-water warship was built at Austal for a General Dynamics-led team. It is scheduled to undergo acceptance trials by the Navy in mid-November and be delivered by the end of the year...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ohhh, Hawaii just a little bit too early...

Shipbuilding News
by Larry Pearson
More money for the ferry industry

For the second time in less than three months, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is playing Santa Claus to the ferry industry. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood has announced more than $42 million in grants to improve ferry service and build new docks and other facilities in 15 states and Puerto Rico. This totals $110 million for the year, an amount exceeding the $100 million in small shipyard grants awarded in August with funds appropriated under the federal economic stimulus bill.

The top three awards were for $3 million each. Two of those were for new ferries in Puerto Rico and San Francisco. In addition to those three, there were seven other awards above $1 million, all involving new/renovation ferry construction or engines for existing ferries. Continue reading…

Latest on Austal-USA Troubles

Judge rules Austal once again engaged in unfair labor practices
Press-Register - - Mobile, AL Oct. 7, 2009

A union could get a third crack at organizing Austal USA's workers after an administrative law judge ruled the Mobile River shipyard again committed unfair labor practices in the run-up to an April 2008 election... >>>Continued here>>>

Long-Delayed LCS-2 Trials Set To Resume Oct. 7, 2009
By Christopher P. Cavas

Sea trials of the first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) from General Dynamics (GD) could resume as early as next week, sources said, giving shipbuilders and their U.S. Navy customers a chance to see if numerous engineering fixes implemented since the summer have taken hold.

The ship, named Independence, went out for an initial series of builder's trials in early July, but except for a handful of day trips, it has been pierside since then at Austal USA's shipyard in Mobile, Ala. A series of problems, many of them associated with the propulsion plant, cropped up during the trials, and officials decided to take the ship out of trials mode and work on getting things finished... >>>Continued here>>>