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21 Jul 16. LCS 6 completes final underwater explosion test. USS Jackson (LCS 6), Austal’s Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship, underwent its third and final Full Ship Shock Trial (FSST) on 16 July and fared well, according to the US Navy (USN). The USN said in a 19 July statement that Jackson sustained only “minimal damage and returned to port under her own power”. The navy over the next several months will compile and analyse a large amount of data collected during the FSST on the majority of shipboard systems. Findings could result in design changes for remaining ships in the class. In June the service began FSSTs for Jackson “to validate the operational survivability of new construction ships after exposure to underwater shock”. Each of the three tests was conducted with a 10,000-pound explosive charge, set off at increasingly close ranges. The USN is next to conduct FSSTs on Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-class USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) within the next few months. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Jul 16. Navy Lays Keel for LCS Indianapolis. The Navy held a keel-laying ceremony for the ninth Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), future USS Indianapolis (LCS 17), July 18. Built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin, future USS Indianapolis will be approximately 388 feet in length and have a width of nearly 58 feet. Ship sponsor Jill Donnelly, wife of Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, served as the honorary keel authenticator during the ceremony.
“Indianapolis has a proud tradition in the Navy, and the Indianapolis, as the fourth ship to bear the name, will serve to honor the sacrifices of all veterans,” said Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. “We are honored to lay the keel of a ship which will protect our freedom and keep us safe, as our Sailors have done for generations.”
Previous Portland-class cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA 35) earned 10 battle stars for distinguished World War II service, operating from Pearl Harbor and throughout the Pacific escorting convoys and attacking enemy submarines. The cruiser’s service ended when the ship was sunk by a Japanese torpedo minutes after midnight July 30, 1945. Only 317 of the 1,196 sailors serving aboard survived after five days afloat in the Pacific. A survivor of the CA 35 crew, Richard Thelen, attended the keel laying ceremony on behalf of his shipmates. (Source: ASD Network)
15 Jul 16. The Ministry of Defense Approves CDR of the S-80 Submarine Navantia Is Building in Cartagena. The Executive Committee of the Ministry of Defense has approved the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the S-80 submarine being built by the Navantia shipyard in Cartagena. This is a very important milestone for the future of the program and the shipyard, since it involves the final “freeze” of the submarine design, and allows its transition to production. In this regard, the enlargement of the boat’s pressure hull was completed in April, and its five sections are already available for the incorporation of its internal structures.
The approval of the CDR by the Ministry of Defence also demonstrates the technical feasibility of the submarine program. Achieving this milestone means finally overcoming the design problems suffered by the program in the past. The program therefore is transferred back to the shipyard, whose highly advanced transformation allows it to face the future with optimism.
The director of the Shipyard and of the S-80 Submarine Program, Admiral José Manuel Sanjurjo Jul, stressed the importance of the approval milestone. “The program for the design and construction of the S-80 submarine is the most complex engineering project that is being undertaken a