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LHD Wasp

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A quanto ho visto non esiste una discussione sulla classe in questione. Lo inauguro io, e se sbaglio, si può unificare con quello esistente.





LHD 8 Makin Island is under construction in Pascagoula, MS as the last ship of America’s Wasp Class amphibious assault carriers. While many of its characteristics are similar to its sister ships, there are also differences. For one thing, it will be a no-steam, all electric ship, including electric propulsion, all driven by 2 GE LM2500+ gas turbines and 6 diesel-electric generators. Other features will include central machinery control using fiber optics, upgraded communications systems including tele-medicine, structural modifications required to host and service the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and self-defense improvements including the SSDS Mk 2 Mod 3A unified combat system controlling Phalanx Block 1B guns, RIM-116B RAM short-range missiles, and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles.


The keel was laid in February 2004, but all these changes meant that about 67% of the previous line drawings, and 75% of the test procedures, needed to be modified for Makin Island. Then Hurricane Katrina hit the in-progress ship hard. The labor pool also took a hit, with up to 1/3 of the Gulf Coast personnel leaving the area and the company. The pool of electrical professionals was especially hard hit, with 55-60% of the LHD 8’s current labor force under the 4-5 year threshold for experienced workers.


Even so, Katrina hit in August 2005. Which is why Northrop Grumman was surprised at the slowness of its integration and testing progress during final construction in 2008, as part of the ship’s preparation for sea trials. That led to a comprehensive review and audit – and a bill of $320-360 million to fix the ship, which will be footed by Northrop Grumman


In their April 15/08 teleconference, Northrop Grumman executives noted that any development problems have quality issues, but the quality systems that are supposed to catch them early were not run properly and missed the problems.


As one example, the Makin Island’s new machinery control system is connected by fiber optic cables, allowing it to be monitored and run centrally. Its failure to work was puzzling, since high reliability was supposed to be one of its virtues. Northrop Grumman’s program review and detailed physical audit of the ship identified the problem: due to the poor quality of the installation work, the fiber optic cables had been crushed in a number of areas.


Northrop Grumman shipbuilding says that this need for substantial rework is present throughout the ship, especially in electrical cable installations of all types.


Quality is only free when it catches problems early – its absence until the late hours, on the other hand, is almost always very costly. As anyone who has remodeled a home knows, electrical system problems are especially bad news at a late stage, because ripping up existing work is often required in order to fix the problem. Since the contract is fixed-price, incentive-fee, there will be no incentive, and the cost of fixing the problems fall on Northrop Grumman.


The components of the $320+ million additional charge for LHD 8 stem from 3 main sources:


Labor. This is the biggest component of the increase. The ship will continue to employ 1,500 craftspeople for an additional 6 months, out of Pascagoula’s 19,000 or so. This adds direct level-of-effort costs, and also means that these employees must be replaced on other new ships that would have used them once they were done.


The 2nd cost source is the material required for rework.


The 3rd source of the charges involves reduction in accounting “intangible values” related to the shipyard when it was bought from Litton.






In terms of financial impact on Northrop Grumman, Hurricane Katrina’s impact had used up more than 1/2 the remaining shared risk reserve on the fixed-price, incentive-fee contract, leaving smaller margins to absorb problems of this nature. By June 2007, in fact, Northrop Grumman was already booking the program at break-even. It is also fair to note, however, that the firm has received some specific compensation in response to Katrina.


The exact amount of the expected charge will be finalized later, and will be disclosed when Northrop Grumman issues its Q1 2008 results later in April 2008. It will leave the entire LHD 8 program in a net loss position, but the expected charge does not impact the company’s previously announced 2012 financial targets, delivered at its February 2008 investment conference.


A number of personnel changes have been made in the program, and LHD 8 Makin Island is now expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2009.


Northrop Grumman executives said in their teleconference that audits had been done on other ships under construction, and assured listeners that LHD 8’s quality problems were not present on other ships. The expensive lesson in quality processes and risk management, on the other hand, will be present in many of the company’s future ships and other defense programs.





March 20/09: Northrop Grumman announces that the amphibious assault ship Makin Island [LHD 8] has performed all required sea trial evolutions for the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), during trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Passing its INSURV clears the way for Navy acceptance of the ship; Makin Island is scheduled for commissioning at its San Diego homeport in October 2009.







Per la cronaca, ecco di cosa stiamo parlando:


Power Plant Two boilers (600 PSI), two geared steam turbines, two shafts, 70,000 shaft horsepower


Length 844 feet (253.2 meters)

Beam 106 feet (31.8 meters) at waterline, 200 feet w/flight deck elevators extended

Draft 27 ((,23 m) feet Maximum (Full Load), 36 feet (10,97 m) at the stern [ballasted]


Displacement Approx. 40,500 tons (36,450 metric tons) full load


Speed 20+ knots (23.5+ miles per hour)


Aircraft (Actual mix depends upon mission) 6 AV-8B Harrier attack planes

4 AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopter

12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters

9 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters

4 UH-1N Huey helicopters





6 AV-8B Harrier attack planes

12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters

9 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters





42 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters




Sea Control

20 AV-8B Harrier attack planes

6 ASW helicopters



Landing Craft 2 LCU Landing Craft, Utility or

3 LCAC Landing Craft, Air Cushion or

6 LCM-8 Landing Craft, Mechanized or

40 AAV Amphibious Assault Vehicle [normal] or

61 AAV Amphibious Assault Vehicle [stowed]


Armament 2 - MK29 launchers for NATO Sea Sparrow

3 - MK15 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts

8 - MK33 .50 cal. machine guns



Combat and Control Systems AN/SLQ-49 Chaff Bouys

AN/SLQ-25 NIXIE Towed Torpedo Countermeasures

AN/SLQ-32(V)3 Electronic Warfare (EW) system

1 AN/SPS-48 radar

1 AN/SPS-49(V)7 radar

1 AN/SPS-64 radar

1 AN/SPS-67 radar

AN/SYS-2 Detection/Tracking System

1 MK-23 Target Acquisition System (TAS)

1 MK-36 Chaff Launcher

MK-91 Fire control System


Crew Ships Company 104 officers, 1,004 enlisted

Marine Detachment: 1,894


























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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest intruder

Consegnata alla US Navy la LHD 8 Makin Island




Northrop Grumman ha consegnato alla Marina USA la nuova nave da assalto anfibio USS Makin Island (LHD 8), ottava e ultima unità della classe Wasp su cui si baseranno le nuove navi del programma LHA®. La consegna, che segue il completamento delle prove in mare e la verifica dei sistemi a bordo, è avvenuta secondo le scadenze prefissate per il secondo trimestre 2009


La nave, 42.800 tonnellate di dislocamento per 257 metri di lunghezza, è studiata come piattaforma di lancio delle Marine Expeditionary Brigades, attraverso hovercraft LCAC, MV-22 Osprey (versione USMC del tiltrotor V-22), per un totale complessivo di 2.000 Marines. Oltre al trasporto di uomini e materiali in missioni di assalto anfibio, i compiti della Makin Island riguarderanno anche controllo del mare, supporto medico attraverso la struttura ospedaliera e proiezione di forza con la componente di volo ad ala fissa/rotante composta da 12 elicotteri CH-46 Sea Knight, 4 CH-53E Sea Stallion, 6 AV-8B Harrier o Osprey, 3 UH-1Y Huey e 4 AH-1W Super Cobra.









Il nuovo sistema di propulsione combinato composto da due turbine a gas e motori ausiliari elettrici è capace di scaricare 70.000 HP sui due alberi di trasmissione, facendo raggiungere alla nave velocità fino a 20 nodi.


La Makin Island verrà armata ad ottobre presso la sua base navale di appartenenza a San Diego.

Northrop Grumman è la compagnia costruttrice di tutte le unità anfibie della US Navy classe Tarawa, Wasp e LHA 6.




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