U.S. Navy Awards Ingalls $287 Million Contract To Design And Build First Of A New Class Destroyer

Litton Industries has announced that its Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, Pascagoula, Miss., has received a U.S. Navy contract in the amount of $287,779,600 for design and construction of the first of a new class of guided missile destroyers to be armed with the advanced Aegis fleet defense weapons system.

The new ship, designated DDG- 47, will be an adaptation of the 30 Spruance-class destroyers designed and presently being built by Ingalls for the Navy. She will be 563 feet long, 55 feet wide, and displace 8,900 tons. Powered by four General Electric gas turbine engines, DDG-47 is designed to achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots.

The contract is of a cost-plusaward- fee type. In excess of $100 million of design and construction costs are slated to be subcontracted to companies across the U.S. At peak of construction during 1980, approximately 2,600 Ingalls employees are expected to work on the program. Delivery is expected in late 1982 or early 1983.

The Aegis Weapons system, developed and being produced by RCA Corp. for the DDG-47, includes an array of highly sophist i c a t e d electronically scanned radars capable of detecting and tracking a large number of surface and airborne threats simultaneously.

The Aegis radar also directs the fire of the ship's advanced surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles.

Aegis incorporates a new kind of radar to "see" in all directions using electronic scanning, a technological advancement over conventional rotating antenna radars which can detect only when the radar beam strikes the target during rotation. Aegis eliminates delay, providing extremely fast reaction time and multiple target handling capability. It's a matter of only seconds from target detection to weapon launch.

Once a target is detected and identified, characteristics such as range, altitude, speed and direc- tion are processed by the Aegis computers, and appropriate weapone are selected for fire. Working as an integrated part of specially designed weapons control, fire control and missile launching systems, Aegis can rapid-fire and provide "flight guidance" to a number of missiles with great accuracy.

During flight, missiles receive continuous guidance commands from the Aegis radars until actual contact with their target. Initially, the missiles are guided by information received prior to launch. But in flight, as the missiles approach their target, they receive commands from reflected signals bounced off the target by an illuminator positioned on the ship. By "homing" in on this reflected signal, destruction of the target is virtually guaranteed.

Bow-mounted sonar, antisubmarine rocket (ASROC) and torpedoes will provide the ship with antisubmarine capability. Antiship and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) helicopters and deck guns complete a ship the Navy has described as "the most broadly capable, heavily armed and best protected destroyer that the Navy has developed." DDG-47 will adopt the hull, mechanical and electrical systems of the Spruance-class ships proven successful in three years of operations with the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. Sixteen Spruance ships are in service with the Fleet, and ship 17 was delivered at the end of September. Seven more have been launched and are being outfitted for sea duty, and the remaining six are in various stages of construction.

Design and engineering work on the new ship, as well as procurement of materials and systems, will begin immediately.

Start of hull fabrication is scheduled for September 1979.

Ingalls will produce the new class ship in its modern facility at Pascagoula, utilizing the same modular production techniques successfully applied in the building of the Spruance-class destroyers and a new fleet of LHA amphibious assault ships.

Manpower for the construction of DDG-47 will come from within Ingalls's existing work force, which faces reduction as work is completing on current programs.

During four decades of ship- building on the Pascagoula River, Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries has produced more than 270 ships for the United States Navy and merchant marine fleets.

That experience has included the building of destroyers—first with the construction of DD-931 Forrest Sherman-class destroyers in 1958, and continuing today with the production of a new fleet of DD-963 Spruance-class destroyers.

Ingalls began operations in Pascagoula, Miss., in 1938 and has produced a wide variety of naval ships, including in addition to destroyers, amphibious assault ships, escort aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines, submarine tenders, ammunition ships and other naval auxiliaries.

Litton Industries acquired Ingalls Shipbuilding in 1961, and in 1970 the shipyard expanded its facilities to include a new 611- acre facility that utilizes modular production techniques—a concept that achieves increased efficiency by allowing more equipment and systems to be installed aboard ship prior to the launching of the hull.

The modular concept is in full utilization today at Ingalls, where work is in process on the new fleet of Spruance destroyers and on a series of LHA amphibious assault ships. Eighteen ships in the 30-ship destroyer program will be delivered to the Navy before the end of 1978. The rest are either in outfitting in preparation for delivery or in hull construction.

Three ships in the LHA program have been delivered.

In addition to DD-963 destroyers and LHAs, Ingalls is also building four destroyers for the Iranian Navy. Ingalls is also engaged in nuclear submarine overhaul work.

Electronic systems are extensive aboard both the LHAs and destroyers. For the testing of these systems, Ingalls built and operates a Land Based Test Facility (LBTF). The LBTF is used to assemble, pre-test, and integrate ship electronic and communication systems off ship. This off-ship assembly and testing greatly reduces the time involved in getting the systems fully operational once installed aboard ship. The LBTF is another application of the modular concept in building employed at the shipyard.

From a peak employment of 25,000 workers in July 1977, Ingalls's work force today is 19,500.

In addition to its Regular Apprentice Program as a source of skilled manpower, Ingalls has the facilities and capability for the operation of one of the largest vocational training centers in the country. During peak manpower requirements, enrollment in the Ingalls training school reached more than 400.

Other stories from October 15, 1978 issue

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