Sunday, October 30, 2011

Deadly USS Virginia, United States Navy Submarines

Army and Weapons | Deadly USS Virginia, United States Navy Submarines | The Virginia class (or SSN-774 class) is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN) employed by the United States Navy. The submarines are designed for a wide range of open-ocean and littoral missions. They were intended as a cheaper alternative to the Seawolf class attack submarines, designed during the Cold War, and they are scheduled to be the oldest of the Los Angeles-class submarines to replace, nineteen of which, a total of 62 built, have already dismantled.

Instead of a traditional periscope, the class uses a pair of telescopic masts photonics  outside the pressure hull. Each tower contains a high-resolution cameras with light-intensification and infrared sensors, an infrared laser rangefinder, and an integrated electronic support measures (ESM) array. Signals from the masts' sensors Fibre optic data lines through signal processors to the control center. Visual feeds from the masts are displayed on the LCD interfaces in the command center.
The Virginia class submarines are equipped with a bow-mounted spherical active / passive sonar array, a large aperture lightweight fiberglass sonar array (three flat panels mounted low on both sides of the hull), and two high-frequency active sonar mounted in the sail and keel (including the bow). The submarines are also equipped with a low frequency sonar towed array sonar and a high frequency towed array.
The USS California, the first Virginia-class submarine with advanced electromagnetic signature reduction system built in, but this system will be incorporated in other submarines of the class.
The Virginias are designed, in part, as a cheaper (U.S. $ 1.8 billion, $ 2.8 billion) alternative to the Seawolf class sumbarines, whose production run was stopped after only three boats were completed. To reduce costs, the Virginia-class submarines use many "commercial off-the-shelf" (or COTS) components, especially in their computers and data networks. In practice, it actually costs less than $ 1.8 billion (in fiscal year 2009 dollars) each, due to improvements in shipbuilding technology.
In the hearings before both House and Senate committees, the Congressional Research Service and expert witnesses testified that the current procurement plans of the Virginia class - a year at this time, accelerating to two per year beginning in 2012 - would lead to high unit costs and (according to some of the witnesses and some of the committee chairmen) an insufficient number of attack submarines. In a March 10, 2005 statement to the House Armed Services Committee, Ronald O'Rourke of CRS testified that, assuming the production rate remains as planned, "production scale for submarines would continue to be limited or poor."
The Virginia Class is through an industrial arrangement designed to both GD Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company (the only two U.S. shipyards to build nuclear-powered ships) in the submarine-building activities to keep. Under the current regime, the Newport News facility builds the stern, habitability and machinery spaces, torpedo room, sail and bow, while Electric Boat builds the engine room and control room. The facilities alternate work on the reactor as the final assembly, test, outfit and delivery.
O'Rourke wrote in 2004 that, "Compared to a one-yard strategy, approaches involving two meters may be more expensive but offer potential offsetting benefits." Among the claims of "offsetting benefits" that O'Rourke attributes to supporters of a two-facility construction arrangement is that it "would allow the United States continue to build submarines in a shipyard, even if the other site is unsuitable building submarines permanently or for a longer period by a catastrophic event of some kind ", including an enemy attack.

To the submarine to get the price down to $ 2 billion per submarine in FY-05 dollars, the Navy proposed a cost reduction program to shave about $ 400 million in costs from the price tag per submarine. The project is named "2 for 4 in 12", refers to the desire of the Navy for two boats to buy four billion U.S. dollars in FY-12. Under pressure from Congress, the Navy chose to start buying two boats a year earlier, in FY-11, meaning that officials would not be able to get $ 2 billion price tag before the service began buying two submarines a year. However, program manager Dave Johnson said at a conference on March 19, 2008, that the program only thirty million U.S. dollars from reaching the $ 2 billion price target and would achieve that goal on schedule.

In December 2008, the Navy signed a $ 14 billion contract with General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman to supply eight submarines. The contractors provide one submarine in each of fiscal 2009 and 2010, and two submarines in each of fiscal 2011, 2012 and 2013. This contract, the Navy Virginia-class submarine fleet to 18. And in December 2010, the United States Congress passed a Defense Authorization bill that production expanded with two subs per year.

On June 21, 2008, the Navy christened the New Hampshire (SSN-778), the first block II submarine. This boat was delivered eight months ahead of schedule and $ 54 million under budget. Block II boats are built in four sections, compared with ten parts of the Block I boats. This allows cost savings of approximately $ 300 million per boat, reducing the total cost to $ 2 billion per boat and the construction of two new boats per year. Beginning in 2010, new submarines of this class include a software system that can monitor and reduce their electromagnetic signature when needed.

In September 2010 it was found that urethane tiles, applied to the body's internal mute and instead of absorbing reflect sonar pulses, fell, while the subs were at sea. Ross Babbage has called on Australia to buy or lease a dozen Virginia class submarines from the United States. The Royal Canadian Navy is also believed to be exploring the feasibility of acquiring up to eight Virginia class submarines.

General characteristics 

Type: Attack submarine 
Displacement: 7,900 tons (7800 tons long)
Length: 377 ft (115 m) 
Width: 34 ft (10 m) 
Propulsion: S9G reactor
Speed: 25 knots (29 mph, 46 km / h)
Range: unlimited except by foodTest depth: 800 ft (240 m) 
Complement: 135 (15:120) 
Armament: 12 × VLS (BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles) and 4 x 533mm torpedo tubes (Mk-48 torpedoes)38x torpedoes and missiles