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USS Florida Reaches Major Conversion Milestone

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050214-01
Release Date: 2/14/2005 11:43:00 AM

From Naval Sea Systems Command "Team Submarine" Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- USS Florida (SSGN 728) undocked Feb. 10, achieving a major milestone in the overhaul and conversion process for the guided-missile submarine (SSGN) program.

The milestone was achieved one week ahead of the scheduled date of Feb. 16.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) and General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) are jointly overhauling and converting Florida at NNSY. Florida is the second of four ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) being converted into state-of-the-art, multimission, guided-missile submarines. Florida's conversion is more than 49 percent complete, and the boat is scheduled to return to the fleet April 1, 2006.

"General Dynamics Electric Boat, which is in charge of the conversion, and NNSY have accomplished this important milestone ahead of schedule," said SSGN Program Manager Capt. William Hilarides. "The continued progress on the SSGN Program is the result of a dedicated, professional team from GDEB and NNSY working together to deliver a key capability to the Navy on a compressed schedule."

The SSGNs, when completed, will be flexible warfighting platforms with tremendous capabilities for joint warfighting, including Special Operations Forces (SOF), and large-scale strike capabilities in one clandestine, mobile platform. Each SSGN will carry up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and up to 66 Navy SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) or other SOF for extended periods of time.

SSGNs' two forward-most missile tubes will be converted into lock-in/lock-out chambers. Each will be able to host either an Advanced SEAL Delivery System or a Dry-Deck Shelter. The remaining 22 tubes, each having the volume of a tractor-trailer, will carry Multiple All-Up-Round canisters that pack up to seven Tomahawk Cruise Missiles.

In the future, SSGNs' considerable volume could be used to deliver joint payloads, and will provide the space required for experimentation and development of off-hull sensors and vehicles.

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