On September 9, 2003, remnant steel from the World Trade Center twin
towers will be cast into the future USS New York amphibious transport dock ship, LPD 21. The ship is named for the state of New York and recognizes the courage and commitment of New Yorkers during the 9/11 tragedy. Amite Foundry and Machine in Amite, LA, a subcontractor to the shipbuilder Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, will perform the casting. Thousands of pounds of steel transported from the debris field in Staten Island, NY, will be melted down and poured into the bow stem cast of New York. As part of the bow, the stem and WTC steel will always be the first part of the ship to sail into future 21st Century expeditionary warfare missions. NAVSEA played a critical role in determining the feasibility of using scrap steel in a new construction ship. "After the keel, the stem is the most important structural part of a ship," said Drew Demboski, Assistant Design Manager for the LPD 17 class program. Mr. Demboski added that considering the stresses placed on the steel from the twin towers and its unknown metallurgy, NAVSEA officials were concerned that the steel could be unsuitable for the ship. "Before Northrop Grumman Ship Systems could begin prefabrication, we needed to call in the experts," he said. NAVSEA's 05M, the Material and Environmental Engineering group, determined that the WTC steel had the right stuff for casting. Although at first it was thought that only a few pounds could be used, the NAVSEA Team reviewed the steel's chemistry reports, evaluated the data against technical manuals and specifications, and determined that the WTC steel was nominally equivalent.
Any variations could be correctable by melting small amounts of steel alloy into the steel. Thus, thousands of pounds of salvaged steel can be used for the bow stem casting. Casting the stem marks the start of prefabrication for New York. Once fabrication begins, LPD 21 will become the fifth of 12 ships of the San Antonio class of amphibious ships to begin construction. The first ship of the class, LPD 17, was launched in July 2003. Along with New Orleans and Mesa Verde, its construction is progressing at shipyards in Avondale, LA, and Pascagoula, MS. Northrop Grumman Ship Systems laid
the keel for USS Green Bay on 11 August 2003. This marks the first time since 1970 that the Navy is simultaneously building five LPD amphibious transport docks. USS New York's motto is Never Forget. Its steel construction
embodies the legacy of the World Trade Center. For more information about the future USS New York and other San Antonio-class ships, go to www.pms317.navy.mil on the Internet. (Source: Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs)