SSN 775 Texas
Texas is the second ship of the class and she was the first to be built at Newport News.
Named to honor the 28th state admitted to the union, Texas is the fourth ship of the U.S. Navy to carry the name since the original Texas was commissioned in 1895. The second USS Texas was a battleship, which took part in both World Wars. The third Texas was a nuclear powered guided missile cruiser, which was decommissioned in 1993.
Texas is able to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other naval forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, Special Forces delivery and support, and mine delivery and minefield mapping. With enhanced communications connectivity, Texas also provides important battle group and joint force support, with full integration into carrier battle group operations.
Texas is the 13th submarine to be built in the Northrop Grumman Newport New s Module Outfitting Facility (MOF). In the 130,000-square-foot MOF, submarines are constructed on a level platform, not on an inclined shipway as in years gone by.
Traditionally, labor, material, and equipment flowed through the shipyard to arrive at a single production site: the ship on an inclined way. But construction for Texas has been broken down into two dozen hull sections and modules, with each portion representing a key sub-assembly of the submarine's hull or equipment.
Modules are extensively outfitted and tested "off-hull" before the individual pieces a re loaded into the open ends of hull sections and joined to form the ship. This modular construction process is very similar to working with toy building blocks, but on a gigantic scale. At Newport News the ground-work for modular construction was started in the Ring Module Shop, where initial construction of steel hull sections creates tanks, foundations, and deck assemblies.
Electric Boat's Quonset Point Facility in Rhode Island also contributes groundwork for Texas by building hull rings and subsections outfitted with pipe, machinery, and electrical components. Electric Boat will send 11 major ship sections to Newport News on an ocean-going barge called the Sea Shuttle. Some of these modules will weigh several hundred tons and will ultimately be joined with others built by Newport News to create the Texas. The modules from the Ring Module Shop and Electric Boat will be moved to the MOF, a ten-story building with four large bay doors. Here the work of thousands of employees comes together as major systems and large components are systematically installed and outfitted. Systems and components vary in size - from entire decks and huge condensers to small electric motors and switches. All arrive at the MOF ready for installation on the modules and ultimately in the various hull cylinders.
After each module is completed and loaded into the hull cylinders, four-wheel electric transfer cars are rolled under the hull ring's strongbacks. Hydraulic jacks on the cars lift the large sections of the ship, which are then wheeled into place and welded together to form part of the complete hull. After the modules are joined and the ship's systems are interconnected, transfer cars under the ship's strongbacks will lift the vessel simultaneously and roll the ship on rails (at four feet per minute) to the outboard ways for additional outfitting and testing.
When her keel was laid on July 12, 2002 in Newport News, Texas anticipated a christening date in 2004 and joining the fleet upon being commissioned in 2005.
On November 7, 2003, Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN) in Newport News, Va., celebrated a key milestone on TEXAS, the second ship of the VIRGINIA Class, with a ceremony marking the pressure hull being welded completely closed. This event, referred to as Pressure Hull Complete, is a significant step towards completion and commissioning of the ship by the Navy. With 81 percent of the construction work completed at this point, TEXAS has attained a high level of completion and progress toward delivery.
The floating dry dock at Northrop Grumman Corporation in Newport News, Va., slowly filled up with water in order to launch the Virginia-class attack submarine Texas (SSN 775) on April 9, 2005. Texas was transported westward to the edge of the James River and moved onto the yard's 640-foot floating dry dock. As the ship was transferred from land, the floating dry dock's onboard computer receives input from load sensors, tide gauges, vessel position sensors, draft gauges, and tank level sensors to control 40 onboard ballast tanks so the dock remains level during the loading process. After Texas was loaded, the floating dry dock was moved to a nearby 70-foot deep basin where the dock submerged, and the submarine floated free. Tugboats then pulled the ship out of the dock and to a pier in the South Yard for additional testing in preparation for the ship's sea trials and final delivery to the Navy.
On July 28, 2004, the Department of Defense announced that the attack submarine Texas would be christened during a July 31 ceremony at the Northrop Grumman Newport News facility in Newport News, Va. Secretary of the Navy Gordon England was to join a number of dignitaries including Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas who were to deliver the ceremony's principal address. Texas native Laura Bush, first lady of the United States, served as the submarine's sponsor.
Texas was scheduled for delivery to the Navy in 2005. As of January 2006 delivery of the Texas to the Navy had slipped to the later part of the second quarter of FY2006, that is late February 2006.
USS Texas, the second ship of the Virginia attack submarine class, was commissioned on Sept. 9, 2006, during a ceremony at the Port of Galveston piers in Galveston, Texas. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas delivered the ceremony's principal address. Laura Bush, first lady of the United States, served as the ship's sponsor.In the time-honored tradition of commissioning U.S. naval ships, she has been invited to give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
As the Navy's next-generation attack submarine, the Virginia-class submarine is the first class specifically designed to counter post-Cold War threats, providing the Navy with the capabilities required for safeguarding the nation's interests in the 21st century. Texas has improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that enable it to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements. With a modular design, Texas along with its other sister submarines of the Virginia-class, will be able to accommodate technology upgrades throughout its life.
Texas can attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters and other sea forces. Texas also has superior anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare capabilities, is able to provide special forces delivery and support, and can conduct mine delivery and minefield mapping. With enhanced communications connectivity, Texas will also provide important joint task force support and full integration into strike and expeditionary group operations.
Capt. John Litherland, a 1982 graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle, became the first commanding officer of the ship, leading a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted sailors. Texas will be homeported in Groton, Conn., as a unit of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
Texas is 377 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 34 feet, a navigational draft of 32 feet, displaces approximately 7,800 tons submerged, can dive to depths greater than 800 feet, and can sustain speeds of more than 25 knots when submerged. The ship is also designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship - reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time. The superior capabilities of Texas and other Virginia-class submarines will help ensure the Navy maintains undersea dominance well into the 21st century.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|