Good week for Northrop Grumman shipbuilding

Press Release:

PASCAGOULA, Miss., Oct. 2, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) — Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) accomplished two successful ship launches in one week on two very important shipbuilding programs. Shipbuilders from the company’s Ship Systems sector launched the U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship Makin Island (LHD 8) on Friday, Sept. 22 and one week later launched the U.S. Coast Guard’s first National Security Cutter, Bertholf (WMSL 750).

Here are the pics:

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The 844-foot, 42,800-ton Makin Island is the first of the large deck amphibious assault ship class to be built with gas turbine engines and electric drive. The ship is designed to transport and land a Marine Expeditionary Unit, a force of 1,900 Marines, ashore by helicopter, landing craft and amphibious assault vehicle.

Bertholf is a 418-foot vessel with a 4,300-ton displacement at full load. Powered by a twin screw combined diesel and gas turbine power propulsion plant, the ship is designed to travel at 29 knots maximum speed. The ship will be the largest modern vessel in the U.S. Coast Guard fleet.

The Makin Island is a sort of a “Wasp-plus” ship, following the same basic design as the LHD-1 Wasp-class but dispensing with steam power. The next class of these amphibious large deck ships, the LHA(R)-class, will be based upon a stretched LHD-1 hull and will incorporate the same gas turbine and electric drive systems as the Makin Island. The ships will replace the LHA-1 Tarawa-class ships, and the “R” stands for “replacement. As in “LHA Replacement”. The class is also sometimes referred to as the LHA(X) class.

MO noted the christening of the Makin Island (with photo) back in August.

The Bertholf is the first large ship in the Coast Guard’s Integrated Deepwater System program, a large multi-year aquisitions program intended to replace a large portion of the Coast Guard’s inventory of ships and aircraft with new systems designed from the ground up to compliment each other far better than systems added bit-by-bit as the old ones wear out.