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23 Jul 15. Construction on US Navy’s Delbert D Black (DDG 119) destroyer begins. Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has initiated fabrication of the US Navy’s future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D Black (DDG 119).
The destroyer has been named in honour of the first master chief petty officer of the navy (MCPON).
Master chief gunner mate Delbert Black was selected to be the senior adviser of the navy, and the title was later changed to MCPON.
The MCPON acts as an advocate and voice of all sailors and their families, apart from discharging responsibilities of the senior enlisted adviser to the chief of naval operations.
The DDG 119 is the third destroyer under the fiscal 2013 to 2017 multi-year procurement contract to begin fabrication.
Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships DDG 51 class programme manager captain Mark Vandroff said: “I am excited to see DDG 119 production starting off strong.
“This ship will not only honour a great navy leader, it will serve as a testament to all our current and future senior enlisted leaders of the value the navy places on their service. My team was greatly honoured to have Mrs. Black present at the Start of Fabrication and looks forward to her enthusiasm guiding us during the ship’s construction.”
Ingalls will build the 32nd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer using modular construction, where pre-fabricated units are constructed separately and then lifted in place and integrated with other units.
The Arleigh Burke-class multi-mission combatants can execute missions from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection.
The vessels support carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups, and replenishment groups. (Source: naval-technology.com)
21 Jul 15. China debuts Zubr LCAC in show of amphibious force in South China Sea. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) featured one of its Zubr-class landing craft air cushion (LCAC) for the first time in an amphibious landing exercise, Chinese state television CCTV reported on 20 July. IHS Jane’s understands that the drill was conducted on Hainan Island, which is in the South China Sea and the main location for the PLAN’s South Sea Fleet bases. While it is not clear whether it was from the same exercise, other CCTV footage shows the LCAC being transported and unloaded from the PLAN’s new semi-submersible heavy lift ship Donghaidao (868). Construction of this ship was reported by IHS Jane’s in early June and the ship was commissioned into the PLAN’s South Sea Fleet on 10 July. The CCTV report described the exercise as testing the PLAN’s ability to land an amphibious assault force in collaboration with other parts of the armed forces. Screen grabs from the report show what appears to be a PLA Type 99 main battle tank (MBT) emerging from the LCAC.
According to IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships, the Zubr-class (Project 1232.2 class, ‘Pomornik’) LCAC is capable of embarking three MBTs or 10 armoured personnel carriers with 230 troops. The vessel, referred to in Chinese media as the ‘Bison hovercraft’, has a top speed of 60 kt and a range of 300 n miles at 55 kt.
IHS Jane’s reported in 2009 that the PLAN was procuring four Zubr-class LCACs from Ukraine – two of which are being built in China – in a deal estimated to be worth USD315m. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Jul 15. US Navy Announces christening of Littoral Combat Ship Little Rock. The Navy’s newest littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Little Rock (LCS 9), was christened Saturday, July 18, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony at Marinette Marine Corporation’s shipyard in Ma