Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Below Decks Pictures Of USS Virginia

Vigilis recently demonstrated a lot of faith in me by predicting that I could get interesting pictures from the insides of USS Virginia (SSN 774). I was thinking, "Hey, I've seen pictures of the Virginia CCSM -- they'll probably be easy to find". I guessed wrong...

The Navy seems to be keeping a fairly close hold on pictures of the Virginia's control room -- this is a big change from when USS Seawolf was launched, and they had a nice full-color shot of the Ship's Control Panel out within a couple of months.

Anyway, looking through all my unclas resources, here's the only picture (from this Navy page) that I can tell is actually of the inside of the USS Virginia's control room -- and it's from the very early stages of construction, showing the BQQ-10 stacks and not much else:

Pretty sad. Anyway, the Navy did help me in my quest by releasing some other pictures from inside the USS Virginia (taken last year during Bravo trials, but based on their placement in the photo gallery, I think just released) -- deploying a towed array, a darkened passageway, two NUBs studying in front of a radiation sign, Torpedo Room berthing, the lock-out trunk, a couple of A-gangers with complicated computer screens, and a pic of the new Submarine Escape Immersion Equipment in the lock-out trunk.

I like the picture of the computer-literate A-gangers best...

So, I did provide pictures of the inside of the Virginia -- just not the ones you were probably looking for...

Update 0839 30 Oct: I had figured the pictures of the Virginia I linked to above were new, because 1) when I typed in "ssn" in the Navy photo search, they came up near the top, between two pictures put up between 26-27 October, and 2) I also looked at the USS Virginia page at NavSource, and didn't see them. It turns out that NavSource has a second USS Virginia page that has several other pictures from Bravo trials -- the ones I linked to aren't there, though, leading me to believe that maybe the Navy did just release them. However, NavSource did have a picture of the Virginia SCP, reprinted below, along with this Navy photo of the photonics display:

Update 0905 30 Oct: Hey, I just noticed that this is my 700th post!


Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

Those aren't just the A-RCI (BQQ-10) stacks, those are the SONAR -and- fire control stacks - all of 'em are together in control. No more SONAR shack for the STS's, they get to sit in control with everyone else. Not sure it is a great idea (one fire control party sup, too, I believe, rather than a SONAR sup just for the STS's).

Love the pic of the A-gangers with the flat screens. I wonder how long the computers will survive. One of my favorite A-Gang moments on the boat was hearing a loud repeated crashing from AMR, and, going to investigate, saw my saltiest MM1 walking out with a large wrench. Looking around the corner of the diesel booth, I spied the shattered carcass of the laptop on which all their PMS was supposed to be documented. Apparently, MM1 had felt it necessary to "calibrate" the machine.

Gotta worry about information overload for the pilot and co-pilot on the VA, too. They have multiple flatscreens with different display options PLUS a laptop in front of them? I gotta wonder how they will handle a complex casualty. Heck, just a "standard" Emergency Deep while snorkeling kept the COW busy as a one armed paper hanger. These guys are going to be seriously tasked, I fear.

Great pics, though, thanks for the view of the interior! And congrats on the growing archives ;-)

10/30/2005 12:09 PM

Blogger Chap said...

The dive on your Seawolf photo was COB on Kam. The 'Wolf was a PR machine at that time...

10/30/2005 1:58 PM

Blogger VaLT said...

Here is some more accurate information (mostly a clarification of Pig's post): The picture of the ARCI BQQ-10 Sonar Stacks is just that... Sonar Only. Sonar is on the port side of the Command and Control Center (CACC or "control"), and Fire Control is on the Stbd side.

They still use a Sonar Sup, who stands behind the STS's. A JOOD is always stationed (submerged), and he receives reports from the Sonar Sup and the FTOW, manages the electronic plots (Fusion, CEP, etc.) and makes reports and recommendations to the OOD.

Most OOD's really like having Sonar in control, but most Sonar Sup's don't. The benefit is that the OOD has all the sonar information available to him at all times. The negative side (reason that Sonar Sup's don't like it) is that the OOD or JOOD develop a bad habit of talking directly to the operators, instead of going through the Supervisor.

As far as A-gang is concerned, the picture above depicts the Diesel Generator Control Panel (DGCP), which is a flat screen panel that displays all the information for the Caterpillar Diesel (first time for a CAT on a sub). The VIRGINIA probably has the best A-gang in the fleet. The AMR is typically the cleanest and best maintained space on the boat (bilges are immaculate), and the majority of the personnel are very intelligent (for A-gangers). The LPO spends much of his free time coding web pages and portals for our ship's intranet.

As far as the pilot/co-pilot are concerned... consider this: Emergency Deep is a pre-defined algorithm that is initiated with a touch of a button. Once it is depressed, all masts and antennas are lowered, the ship rings up the appropriate bell on the engine order telegraph, and the Ship's Control Station (SCS) drives the ship down to the appropriate depth in automatic (taking into account ship's angle so no part of the ship broaches). The Pilot is required to verify the SCS is taking the correct actions, and takes manual control if it is not. The Co-pilot secures any ventilation line-up (touch screen operation for major hull valves), and makes the appropriate announcements. I have simplified some of the actions for clarity, but you get the picture.

All of the information I have provided above is explained to everyone who comes onboard for a tour. Much like the Seawolf, the VIRGINIA is quite the tour ship.

11/11/2005 8:00 AM

Blogger gary84 said...

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4/26/2006 4:00 PM

Blogger gary84 said...

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4/26/2006 4:00 PM

Blogger gary84 said...

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4/27/2006 7:55 AM

Blogger gary84 said...

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4/27/2006 7:57 AM

Blogger gary84 said...

A quick note to say a thanks for mentioning the DGCP on your blog. I designed it, when I worked for EB years ago. After finding it on your blog, I found the source of the three fantastic high-res DGCP pix at by searching in photos for V-12 DIESEL ENGINE. I never thought I would get a chance to see the final product, so this is a huge thrill. Engineering those flat panel display HMI’s was such a learning experience. I’ll post some words about what you’re seeing on those HMI’s. As you said, they look complicated, but that's because they show about a hundred readouts on one display instead of on lots of separate bargraph meters, like previous classes did. The best thing about the 040821-N-2653P-003.jpg photo is that the engine is running, so the readouts on the LCD are legit. Very cool.

5/10/2006 7:56 PM

Blogger gary84 said...

Wrote a web page that talks all about the DGCP pictured above...

5/31/2006 7:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just remember when looking at those pictures. They were all staged in one way or another. Trust me, I was dodging the camera every time PAO's came on board.

4/10/2008 2:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The picture is staged to the extent that they asked the guy to stand there and interact with the DGCP for the photo. The data shown on the screens is real sensor-derived data.

4/26/2009 9:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds cool

5/07/2009 10:43 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

The DGCP web page is here now.

3/07/2010 9:58 AM

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2/09/2012 8:03 AM

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