USS Florida Arrives In Kings Bay
USS Florida (SSGN 728) arrived in Kings Bay on Tuesday following a successful refuelling and conversion:
"Florida is the second Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine the Navy has reconfigured, replacing its 24 Trident missiles with nearly 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, switching the boat from a nuclear deterrent to a source of more conventional firepower in the global war on terrorism.
“We’ve taken the Trident submarine, which is a well proven design, and we’ve done great things with it,” said Florida’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Gregory Ott. “It’s a very flexible platform. We haven’t really built it just for today’s threat. We’ve built it so that it can be modified for whatever’s over the horizon that we can’t imagine.”
"The first in the class, the guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) returned to the fleet in February, and two additional subs, USS Michigan (SSGN 727) and USS Georgia (SSGN 729), are currently undergoing conversion."
I'm continuing to be impressed that the naval shipyards are able to get these complex conversions done on schedule; this is the second shipyard (Puget Sound did USS Ohio's conversion) that's shown they can get a major project done on time. I think I'm going to have to change my expectations for the naval shipyards now from "places where schedules go do die" to "somewhat efficient hellholes".
(The picture above came from here; the Navy site also has some pictures of Florida leaving Norfolk Naval Shipyard here.)