US Navy’s Norfolk shipyard undocks USS La Jolla submarine

6 December 2017 (Last Updated December 6th, 2017 12:21)

The US Navy has successfully undocked its Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY).

US Navy’s Norfolk shipyard undocks USS La Jolla submarine
USS La Jolla (SSN-701) departing Pearl Harbour. Credit: US Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Corwin Colbert.

The US Navy has successfully undocked its Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY).

The vessel will remain pier-side to complete the final part of its moored training ship (MTS) conversion that commenced in February 2015.

SSN 701 is the first of two platforms undergoing conversion from an operational fast-attack submarine into an MTS at Norfolk shipyard to train nuclear officers and sailors at Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU) in Charleston, South Carolina.

“The US Navy vessel is slated to complete its conversion to a full-fledged MTS in late next year.”

The second ship, USS San Francisco (SSN 711), arrived at the shipyard for its conversion in January.

During the conversion, USS La Jolla underwent two complete hull cuts that separated the boat into three pieces.

The centre section of the submarine was also recycled and three new hull sections were added, thereby extending the overall length of the ship by 76ft.

The US Navy vessel is slated to complete its conversion to a full-fledged MTS in late next year.

The MTS conversion project team has shared lessons learned with the USS San Francisco project, which range from ensuring adequate personnel resources to testing equipment earlier to attain certification.

Employees from the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard also assisted in the SSN 711 conversion project with major valve and piping replacement carried out on the vessel earlier this year.

This facilitated the successful completion of the work in 25 days, two weeks ahead of schedule.

A total of 62 submarines of the Los Angeles-class have so far been built, of which 41 are still in active service.