PCU Texas Returns From Sea Trials Story Number: NNS060519-07 Release Date: 5/19/2006 10:28:00 AM
By Photographer’s Mate Airman Maddelin Angebrand, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The second Virginia-class submarine, PCU Texas (SSN 775) (PCU=Pre-Commissioned Unit), returned to Newport News after successfully conducting alpha sea trials, May 17.
The sea trials were conducted to ensure all systems are functioning properly prior to the commissioning of the boat. The objective is to run all operating systems to the fullest extent of their capabilities.
“We operated her through the full range of her maneuvering, diving and speed capabilities," said Capt. John J. Litherland, Texas’ prospective commanding officer. "She performed exactly as she is supposed to – no surprises. That is what we were looking for on these initial sea trials.”
Texas’ commissoning will bring new technologies to the fleet and an overall benefit to the Navy.
“The Texas brings some amazing new capabilities to the Navy,” said Litherland, “revolutionary new techniques in quieting that would make her one of the quietest submarines in the oceans.”
The process of introducing a new ship to the fleet faces many obstacles along the way.
“It’s a very long process building a new submarine," Litherland said. "In the Texas case, many of my crew have been here over four years preparing to bring the Texas to the fleet. With many of the new technologies come challenges, but we worked through all those and in the end succeeded.”
Training is a crucial part of making the sea trials a success.
“Taking a ship to sea for the first time is tough, but the crew’s training was evident," Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion said. "They did a remarkable job, and I was very proud to be with them for the trials. We are a step closer to delivering a great ship to the fleet.”
NEWPORT NEWS, Va., May 17, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The nation's newest and most advanced nuclear-powered submarine, Texas (SSN 775), returned to Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Newport News sector with a broom atop its sail to signify a clean sweep of the ship's initial sea trials.
"I'm pleased to report that the ship's trials were successful," said Adm. Kirk Donald, director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion. "It was a great ride. I thoroughly enjoyed it myself, and a bit more importantly, we are a step closer to delivering a great ship to the fleet."
Sea trials provide an opportunity to test all systems, components and compartments and include submerging for the first time, high-speed runs while on the surface and submerged, and a demonstration of the submarine's other capabilities.
"Today is a great day to be a shipbuilder," said Mike Petters, president of Northrop Grumman Newport News. "There is nothing better than bringing a brand-new ship back to the shipyard from her alpha sea trials."
Texas is in the final stages of construction at the Newport News shipyard. It is the second ship of the Virginia class and will be the first submarine delivered by Newport News since 1996. Delivery to the Navy is scheduled for June.
"It was great to be at sea on the Texas," said Capt. John Litherland, prospective commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit Texas. "She is a magnificent machine and a proud testimony to the dedicated efforts of the shipbuilders here at Northrop Grumman Newport News and their partner, Electric Boat."
Northrop Grumman Newport News is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build the first 10 ships of the Virginia class. Current plans call for 30 Virginia-class submarines in the fleet. Using millions of parts from over 4,000 suppliers in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Virginia-class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations and are the first major combatants designed with the post-Cold War security environment in mind.
"This sea trial showcased a strong and effective relationship between Electric Boat, Northrop Grumman Newport News, and our industry team," said John Holmander, General Dynamics Electric Boat vice president and Virginia-class submarine program manager. "We brought this vessel together with a concept called teaming."
The first ship of the class, USS Virginia (SSN 774), was delivered in 2004. The keel for Texas was laid on July 12, 2002. The ship was christened by First Lady and Sponsor Laura Bush on July 31, 2004 and launched on April 9, 2005. The commissioning will be Sept. 9 in Galveston, Texas. For more information about the Texas, please visit http://www.nn.northropgrumman.com/texas.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 125,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.