Northrop Grumman Ship Systems completed two milestones in one week with the launching of the U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship Makin Island
(LHD 8), top, on Friday, Sept. 22 and the U.S. Coast Guard's first national security cutter Bertholf
(WMSL 750) on Friday, Sept. 29, bottom.
In a post-Hurricane Katrina environment, with two ship launchings in one week, Northrop Grumman celebrates a significant milestone.
Shipbuilders from the company's Ship Systems sector in Pascagoula launched the U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship Makin Island (LHD 8) on Sept. 22 and one week later launched the U.S. Coast Guard's first National Security Cutter, the Bertholf.
"Successfully ship launchings take a huge team effort coupled with tremendous capability and engineering knowledge and our team really stepped up to complete two in one week," said George Yount, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems sector vice president of ship construction. "Sometimes shipbuilding is a little like football in that the only way you can see if you're winning or not is to check the scoreboard. Now, a year ago we got whacked pretty hard by a few hurricanes and a lot of people thought we were going down for the count. Well, as only shipyarders can do, adversity and chaos were turned into success and order."
The 844-foot, 42,800-ton Makin Island is the first of the large deck amphibious assault ship class to be built with gas turbine engines and electric drive. The ship is designed to transport and land a Marine Expeditionary Unit, a force of 1,900 Marines
, ashore by helicopter, landing craft and amphibious assault vehicle.
Bertholf is a 418-foot vessel with a 4,300-ton displacement at full load. Powered by a twin screw combined diesel and gas turbine power propulsion plant, the ship is designed to travel at a maximum speed of 29 knots.
The Bertholf will be the largest modern vessel in the U.S. Coast Guard fleet.