Wednesday, September 2, 2015

'Pressure hull complete" construction milestone achieved on USS Washington

Here is an image of the USS California (SSN 781), a Virginia-class attack submarine similar to the USS Washington. The new boat won't have a carbon-fiber composite hull but it does use "fly by wire" controls. The sub also uses digital imaging systems with two "photonics masts" instead of a traditional periscope. Other Virginia-class subs have been operating since 2004.

Staff, Seapower
1 September 2015

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced in Sept. 1 release that the Virginia-class submarine Washington (SSN 787) is “pressure hull complete,” signifying that all of the submarine’s hull sections have been joined to form a single, watertight unit.
Washington will be the U.S. Navy’s 14th Virginia-class submarine and the seventh to be delivered by HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.
“Pressure hull complete is an exciting step toward the boat’s completion because it’s the point when the submarine really starts to take its final shape and is the last major construction milestone before christening and delivery next year,” said Jim Hughes, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. “As with all of our Virginia-class submarines, Washington represents a true team effort that involves our partners at General Dynamics Electric Boat, the Navy, our suppliers and the Washington crew.”
Washington’s construction, which began in September 2011 under a teaming arrangement between Newport News and Electric Boat, marked the beginning of the Virginia-class program’s two-submarines-per-year build plan. The ship is currently 83 percent complete.
“Over the last year and a half, I have enjoyed watching the many parts that make up a submarine come together,” said CDR Jason Schneider, Washington’s commanding officer. “I can truly say Washington now looks like a submarine on the outside. I look forward to seeing the systems that make up the internals of the submarine continue to come together as we approach launch and delivery.”

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