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Former NSWC PHD Self Defense Test Ship makes Final Departure

NAVSEA News Wire

Release Date: 5/14/2004

By Michelle Harris, NSWC PHD Public Affairs Staff

PORT HUENEME, Calif. -- Ex-Decatur, former Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD), was replaced May 28, by Ex-Paul F. Foster (DD 964) and no longer serves the Navy as a test and evaluation platform.

Ex-Decatur was towed away by the Fleet Ocean Tug, USNS Sioux, the beginning of its two-week journey to Hawaii, where it will be a target in RIMPAC 2004 and play an integral part in the training of today's Fleet. During this multi-national maritime exercise to be conducted in the waters off Hawaii this summer, Decatur and four other decommissioned ships will be fired upon and sunk in waters more than12,000 feet deep.

Decatur arrived at NSWC PHD in 1994 and served as SDTS in support of self-defense engineering, test and evaluation. During typical operations, launched threats attack the SDTS and the combat or weapon system being tested responds to these threats in defense of the ship. The predetermined attack is actually aimed at a decoy barge pulled 150 feet behind the test ship to protect the ship and its assets. During unmanned operations, all personnel are removed from the ship by helicopter and navigation is performed by remote control from Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at Point Mugu, while combat systems are controlled from NSWC PHD's Surface Warfare Engineering Facility.

The Navy's new test ship, decommissioned Destroyer, Ex-Paul F. Foster (DD 964) is assigned to NSWC PHD and will become fully operational in January 2005. Foster is currently undergoing modifications and installations to better perform the mission of test and evaluation of current combat, weapon, and ship defense systems.

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