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USS Minnesota successfully completes Alpha and Bravo sea trials

21 May 2013

USS Minnesota

USS Minnesota (SSN 783), the US Navy's tenth Virginia-class submarine, has successfully completed its Alpha and Bravo sea trials at Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division in Virginia, US.

USS Minnesota's Alpha sea trials involved testing depth, conducting an emergency surfacing, and checking the submarine's propulsion plant to evaluate seaworthiness and operational performance, while Bravo trials validated its acoustic performance and combat systems.

Built by General Dynamics Electric Boat and HII, USS Minnesota is expected to be delivered approximately one year earlier than its contract delivery date.

Minnesota commander, commander John Fancher said: "The events required during sea trials are some of the most demanding tasks a submarine can be asked to do."

Designed as an advanced stealth multi-mission nuclear-powered boat, Virginia-class submarines can conduct missions including anti-submarine, anti-surface ship, strike, special operation forces, irregular and mine warfare, as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

"The events required during sea trials are some of the most demanding tasks a submarine can be asked to do."

The submarine features AN/WLY-1 acoustic countermeasures system and mast-mounted AN/BLQ-10 electronic support measures (ESM) system to provide full-spectrum radar processing, automatic threat warning and situation assessment.

Capable of cruising at a submerged speed of 25k with a beam of 34ft, while carrying a crew of 134, the 377ft-long SSN 783 vessel supports a range of missions, such as anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, special operations, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The submarines will support five of the six Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities, which include sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.


Image: USS Minnesota during its christening ceremony. Photo: courtesy of US Navy, by mass communication specialist 3rd class Billy Ho/Released.

Defence Technology