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.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

PCU New Hampshire (SSN 778) Finishes Alpha Trials

Only six weeks after her christening, the crew of PCU New Hampshire took their submarine to sea for the first time last week. While EB is making a big deal out of the short time between christening and Alpha Trials (it was 11 months for the Virginia), it should be pointed out that the shipyard can delay christening as long as they want -- it's purely ceremonial, and while you can't do the ceremony before the boat can float, you can do it anytime afterwards.

Still, I'm impressed that the crew got through both big milestones so close together, and I'm impressed that the shipyard will get the boat coated before delivery. For now, I'll be happy for them to release a picture of the boat on Alpha Trials -- even though I promised I wouldn't complain about it, I do want to see if the shipyard pressured the ship into flying the damn broom at the end.

Update 2300 06 Aug: I still haven't seen any pictures of the boat coming back from Alpha Trials, but here's a picture of her as she got underway:


Anonymous The Tick said...

NAVSEA needs some good news after the DDG-1000 fiasco. I can just see the meeting now:

"Yeah, this new ship has got everything! All the newest technology - no expense has been spared!"

"Ummm... I just noticed something - it doen't have any long-range weapons... it's basically as helpless as a cargo ship"

"Uh-oh... maybe no one will notice."

8/05/2008 7:14 AM

Blogger Buck said...

The Navy just posted a photo of PCU New Hampshire on her way out Nothing inbound yet, not even on the GDEB web site

I think that EB in general have a policy of keeping their submarine work less public than Northrup Grumman. Look at the difference between USS Texas coverage (NN) and USS Hawaii (EB)

8/06/2008 12:38 PM

Blogger submandave said...

"[Y]ou can't do the ceremony before the boat can float"

Huh? Maybe it's an EB thing, but we christened the Jeff City (SSN 759) at NNS&DDCback in 1990 (or 1991) sitting high and dry with a hole in the bottom of the RC for access. Traditionally the christening had been part of the launch, but when they did away with the skids they rightfully figured noone wanted to sit on the ways watching the LBCs back down at 3 ft/min.

In any event, I disagree that it's no big deal, unless they've started christening ships after they're in the water. Assuming you've completed all the hot testing and removed the shore steam, after launch you've still got to core it, seal the RC, fill the primary, do all the primary mechanical testing again, do all the rod control and instrumentation testing, initial criticality, initial power testing, more instrumentation testing before finally brining steam into the Engineroom and going through all the hot testing again with the reactor. That's a lot to do in six weeks.

8/06/2008 3:14 PM

Anonymous Gina W. said...

M friend and I have a couple of pictures of the boat coming in after sea trials. We were down there waiting early that morning - the boat had to be towed back to EB and not the subase as planned. They're out again and hopefully, they'll return to the subase this time. I know they're supposed to be making an appearance at Annapolis for a few days too.

9/18/2008 5:23 PM


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