030805-O-0000X-001 Groton, Conn. (Aug. 5, 2003) -- The Navy’s newest and most advanced submarine, Virginia (SSN 774), is moved outdoors for the first time, and being prepared for her Aug. 16 christening. Virginia is the first U.S. submarine to be designed for battlespace dominance across a broad spectrum of regional and littoral missions as well as open-ocean, "blue water" missions. The Virginia-class achieves the right balance of core military capabilities and affordability. Photo courtesy Electric Boat. (RELEASED)
Beautiful new view of the future Virginia SSN-774. It appears an all black & dark gray paint scheme. Flank array chines and chin array are more complex visually! Is this the new all black Navy scheme I have heard about? Or is it a 'yard' paint job? Also notice around hull surface features - many chines, suggesting the full anti echoic coatings may not have all been applied yet, giving a smooth transition from the sonar bow dome to the hull aft. I remember Seawolf SSN-21 was rolled out in a similar appearance. Pleased to see the stern adhedral fins are angled in consistent fashion as SSN-21-23, and adhedral fin retro fits to earlier 688's and new build 688'Is. Not the 45 degrees as in some sources. Chin sonar is not a surprise, but it's blending into the hull is more subtle and complex. Beautiful image! Thank you EB and US Navy for this photograph's release. Sea suctions and discharges? I have an idea. WOW!
what a wonderful view!! This submarine is simply amazing...it is a beauty! I'm very interested by the new technologies that the Virginia class will bring in the Oceans...Steve, do you have informations about the chin mounted sonar array? What is it's use and main features? BEST REGARDS MAURO
Try these 'USN' sources above for the original image.
The chin sonar appears to be a combination 'bottom sounder' (the broad disk facing down), and around it's circumference is a high frequency (UHF) high resolution sonar for littoral operations, giving a wide hi res. panorama view of the operating area, navigational hazards, particularly mines especially.
Also in this image just below the towed array housing just aft of the sail is what looks like a vent. This new vent location might correlate with the position of a new Virginia feature, a very large diver lock out chamber (10 to 20 divers?) with a larger hatch on the top deck just off the boats centerline (out of image view on top).
Notice in this measage the numerious 'might be' and as Bugs Bunny would say......"Ummmmmmmmm could be!"
The most fascinating and perhaps most secret are all the UUV's (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles) this vessel class can & could deploy and retrieve. Among many other things (both disclosed and undisclosed) that can probe shallower waters inshore, identify mines and remove them, launch airborne Roves' that once broach the surface deploy and fly surveillance missions controlled by the submarine to pinpoint targets and intelligence (in real time!), even launch a tomahawk or two at that target information gathered. Several years ago USS Asheville (SSN-758) tested this new system.
One interesting proposal for Virginia and other vessels that employ a pump jet is the possibility of a 'smart duct'. The shroud aft of the impeller on the pump jet would be deformable, using 'smart materials technology' redirecting the propulsion wash to provide direct steering forces. Much like vectored thrust nozzles on a SU-37 and F-22 fighter in principle but not in design. I love studying these images, things seem to be what they seem.....or are they?
Do a search with 'google' for a company called 'Continuum Dynamics' and their article called:
In watching 1/96 models at the pond and talking to their owners, added port and starboard steering has been illuminated as being seriously in need. This smart duct maybe one solution on the real boat. The article clearly does not say Virginia class submarines have this feature now, but it would be a possible retro fit at this technology matures. I wonder? In his book 'Submarine Technology for the 21st Century' by Stan Zimmerman, he elaborates on many techologies that could be imployed on submarines in the context of conjecture, when in fact some of these same technologies were already or soon to be reality 'in the field'. Like I wrote earlier, I wonder?
After reading this 'Smart duct' article, I even thought of a simple way to adapt this to models if the duct is not too small. A large very relaxed spring (much like an old slinky toy) molded into a rubber duct to be attached to the aft half of a model pump jet shroud. The spring would maintain its shape yet allow uniform movement memory. The rudder servo rod would would have an extension passing through a hollow propeller shaft, and turning from side to side (port or starboard) a lateral arm aft of the impeller inside the rubber duct. I can see it now.....a run on ebay for all old slinkly toys!
One other comment, if my eyes are deceiving me.... is that a shadow on the leading edge of the adhedral fin, or a intake? In an earlier released image of the Virginia crew standing posed next to it, it appears a blank. But closer inspection of the crew image, the adhedral fin leading edge may have been altered digitally. Am it nuts? Correction...I meant to write... am I really nuts? ......"Ummmmmmmmm could be!"
WOW is right! Thanks for posting that amazing picture! She definitely looks like she's waiting for her anechoic coating with the raised sail hatches, MBT vents and underside flooding grates. I see what you mean about that 'patch' on the dihedral, it does almost lok like a digital 'smudge'. I find it strange that on this pic and the other stern shot I posted a while back that the dihedrals appear blank. There's also some appendages sticking out that I don't recognize just aft of the stern flank array.
Just got back from the Virginia Christening. The boat does not have complete anechoic tiles on it yet so much of the detail looks raised as I noted some folks observed. There are SOME areas though that have tiling done, mostly in the areas of some of the permanent vents and array and other similar locations. The towed array covers are NOT tiled yet and look rather sci-fi-ish. I like them that way but they wouldn't be too quiet! Design on those covers however is alllll new and different from the Seawolf and previous classes. It is too bad the images publicly released show unpainted towed array covers. The painted ones show the detail nicely prior to filling with anechoic material.
Oh, for the record, the sonar dome is purplish...
That strange protuberance that I saw some of you refer to that looks like an additional horizontal surface near the rudder and well above the stern planes, is simply a work platform as seen from below. If you look carefully you can see the railings above it. In any case it was not there today and in fact the back end of the boat is rather clean. The sun being out and the water being rather clear for the river allowed a somewhat unobstructed view of the fore/back end. On the SB side, you could see all the way down past the bow plane plate which was already tiled as the photos published here show.
Steve, I think that you are seeing a shadow where you think there might be an intake. Nothing in my experience would indicate that to be an appropriate place for such an intake... but ... I DID suggest that the Seawolf dome was purpley colored now didnt I... [ha ha]. I could just have a faulty memory chip again here...
The Navy band played on and on, and after the sponsor, Lynda Johnson Robb broke the bottle on the sail, the ship's horn was sounded for 10 seconds and the festivities were concluded. The procedure was somewhat typical for christenings. Attendance though was quite huge at approximately 10,000-11,000. Keep this in mind: ALL 10,000 or so attendees were fed lunch and it was set up so that people could come back as often as they wanted. EB spent quite a few dollars on this. But then again, it is the first launch of a boat in 6 years. In similar news, EB was awarded nearly 9 Billion dollars the other day and is now committed to building 6 additional Virginias in conjunction with Newport News. That is good news for Connecticut and the rest of the country as well.
Well, just thought I would let everyone know that she's official now.