General Dynamics Electric Boat
(GDEB) delivered Hawaii (SSN 776), the third Virginia Class submarine to the Navy on Dec. 22. Hawaii is GDEB’s 100th nuclear powere
d submarine to be delivered to the Navy.
“More than 52 years after commissioning Nautilus, the world’s most revolutionary warship, GDEB is delivering another amazing submarine, Hawaii,” said Rear Adm. Hilarides, Program Executive Officer for Submarines. “The Virginia Class, of which Hawaii is the third boat and the second delivered by GDEB is designed to operate in today’s unpredictable environment, in the littorals; in the deep ocean; alone or with Carrier or Amphibious Battle Groups; collecting intelligence; shaping the maritime battle space."
"It is purpose built for in-land power projection by both Special Operation Forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles. Hawaii will be able to fight across the full spectrum of warfare,” said Hilarides.
Hawaii’s on-time delivery is the result of a dedicated Navy/shipbuilder effort to incorporate lessons learned from USS Virginia (SSN 774) and USS Texas (SSN 775) as well as improvements to the ship’s build plan.
“When we contracted for Hawaii in 1998, we negotiated a December 2006 contract delivery date,” said Capt. David Johnson, Virginia Class Program Manager. “Delivering to the original contract date is an achievement that reflects greatly upon the dedication and professionalism of the men and women who build these ships. We’ve set a new standard that benchmarks the program for future deliveries.”
Hawaii is the second Virginia Class submarine delivered by GDEB who is partnered with Northrop Grumman Newport News in a teaming arrangement to build the Virginia Class. Each company builds hull sections or modules of each ship, and then transport these hull sections via a sea shuttle to the shipyard performing that hull's final assembly. The shipyard that performs the final assembly alternates with each ship.
Currently the Navy is working to reduce the cost of Virginia Class submarines by $400 million per submarine to reach a goal of $2 billion dollars, in fiscal year 2005 dollars, per ship by fiscal year 2012 at a build rate of two ships per year.
“That is no small task, taking almost 20 percent of the cost out of a ship where three ships of the class are delivered”, said Johnson. "Going to two ships per year would account for $200 million of that goal."
“The Navy and our shipbuilding partners are working to make our program goals a reality, and going to two ships per year in a multi-year contract
is an essential element towards achieving that goal," he said. "The Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan supports this with procurement of two ships per year beginning in fiscal year 2012.”
Source: Navsea Newswire
By Team Submarine Public Affairs