New Launching Platform For Navy
The Navy has entered a new era of ship construction in Bath, Maine. The introduction of an innovative construction and launching platform brings some of the most modern warship building methods in the world to Bath Iron Works and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). May 5 marked the first official use of what is known as the Land Level Transfer Facility (LLTF).
That day saw the keel laying of the future USS Chafee (DDG 90). an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, co-sponsored by Mrs. John Chafee, widow of the Honorable John Chafee, a former Secretary of the Navy and Senator from Rhode Island, along with Mrs. Diane Blair, wife of Admiral Dennis Blair, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command.
The Land Level Transfer Facility is a construction platform with three sideby- side shipways that allow for amphibious ships and destroyers to be built simultaneously. Outfit support towers alongside the ships are designed to provide the work force all the material and services they need. These towers have tool cribs, slump material stock rooms, office space, restrooms and lunchrooms built in to help improve productivity.
Additionally, a 75,000-sq.-ft. Manufacturing Support Center will house shipyard manufacturing supervision; design; planning; quality assurance office; material control professionals; and personnel from NAVSEA's Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair (SUPSHIP) Bath in a true integrated process team environment.
The advantages of the new Land Level Transfer Facility are many. Weighing more than 400 tons each, the first erection units of Chafee are the largest ever produced by Bath Iron Works. These erection units can be much heavier than those placed on traditional sliding ways but will be able to be placed on the LLTF.
Another advantage of the facility is the capability to install sonar domes before a ship is launched.
Commenting on the benefits of the new facility, Captain Richard Hepburn, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, SUPSHIP Bath said, "It was an enormous investment by General Dynamics (owner of Bath Iron Works); but one which looks to pay off with the potential of considerable production savings on each hull. Bath Iron Works, the U.S.
Navy, the employees of Bath Iron Works, the American taxpayers, and the nation's defense, are all winners with this magnificent facility in operation." - (By Richard Osial, NAVSEA Logistics, Maintenance and Industrial Operations) complete this contract within the next nine months, and anticipates receiving additional contracts from the Navy leading to initial sea trials of an HTS propulsion system by the end of 2003.
The latest contract calls for the design and fabrication of components for podcontained, HTS propulsion motors.
American Superconductor's proprietary HTS motors are expected to be one-fifth the size and one-third the weight of conventional electric motors of the same power rating. HTS thrusters, because of their smaller size and higher efficiency, are expected to provide significant increases in maneuverability, fuel efficiency, and cargo and passenger space, among other advantages. "Electric drive systems for commercial and Navy ships is the 'killer app' for HTS motors," said Greg Yurek. American Superconductor's CEO. "The dramatic reductions in size, weight and manufacturing costs created by HTS technology are leading to radically new ship designs, which provide tremendous tactical and operational advantages to the Navy and path- ways to increased profitability for commercial ships." According to some industry sources, the current annual global market for electric motors and generators utilized for electric propulsion in commercial cruise and cargo ships is approximately $400 million.
The market for ship propulsion motors and generators is expected to grow rapidly to $2 billion to $4 billion per year by 2010 because electric drives are becoming the propulsion system of choice for both commercial and Navy ships.
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Other stories from June 2001 issue
- Galician Grit page: 8
- MariTel Completes Field Test of Wireless DSC VHF page: 10
- ASRY Converts Heavy-Lift Crane Ship page: 12
- Transfer of Ownership Commences at Grand Bahama Shipyard page: 12
- Hydrex Breaks Ground with Repair page: 13
- Detyens Shipyard Profits From Dredger Work page: 14
- Derecktor Signs Contracts For Two Vessels page: 15
- Rodriquez Cantieri Navali Wins $57M, 10-Boat Contract page: 16
- Rodriquez Cantieri Navali Launches Largest Fast Ferry page: 18
- Freeport Shipbuilding Delivers Aluminum Research Vessel page: 18
- Image Marine Delivers Aquacat To Blackbeard's Cruises page: 19
- VT Concludes Sandown Class page: 20
- VT Reaches Milestone With New RN Survey Ships page: 20
- EuroFerrys Takes First Auto Express 101 page: 22
- Caterpillar Introduces Compact Marine Propulsion Engines page: 24
- Jotun Expands U.S. Presence page: 26
- Maritime World Joins Together at Asia Pacific Maritime 2001 page: 28
- Camacho Returns to His Roots page: 30
- U.S. Shipbuilding Industry: A Bright Future Tempered with Challenges page: 34
- No Leg Left to Stand On - An Obituary for MarAd? page: 36
- Bordelon Marine To Christen First of Three Utility Boats page: 38
- SeaStreak Launches New High-Speed Catamaran page: 39
- Lassen (DDG 82) Commissioned In Florida page: 40
- Future Requirements for Shuttle Tankers in the Gulf page: 42
- MARCO Shipyard Delivers Ahead Of Schedule page: 47
- Shipbuilding Prices Firm Up page: 48
- Strong Market Continues page: 50
- Frozen Gas Market Heats Up page: 50
- Freight Rates To Fly High In Coming Years page: 51
- Greasing the Skids page: 56
- State of the P&I Market: As Stocks Drop, Rates Will Rise page: 58
- Innovators Recognized At Patent Ceremony page: 62
- New Launching Platform For Navy page: 63
- Tests Prove CLT Prop Characteristics page: 67
- Texas Maritime Academy Ship Simulator Attracts All Levels page: 68
- World Industry Drives Freight Rates Up page: 70
- MITAGS Chooses STN Atlas For Major Upgrade page: 73
- Superior Diesel and ALGAE-X Sign Distributor Agreement page: 78
- Incat Takes Top Honors At Cruise & Ferry page: 80
- Portland Remains New England's Largest Tonnage Port page: 81
- An Artistic Interpretation page: 84
- Rolls-Royce to Supply Podded Propulsion For QM2 page: 90
- BV Proposes 12,500-TEU Mega Containership page: 92
- Piracy Hits New Heights page: 95
- New Welding Process Put To The Test page: 96
- Analysts Predict Hutchison Whampoa Expansion Will Offer Long Term Potential page: 97
- Osprey Maritime To Sell LNG Operations For $635 Million page: 97
- Norwegian Line Unable to Remedy Leaky Sprinklers on the Norway page: 98
- Analysts Speculate Possible Carnival / Hapag-Lloyd Deal page: 98