|Winston S. Chuchill' : A Ship Built To Fight |
'Winston S. Chuchill' : A Ship Built To Fight
By NAVSEA Public Affairs, March 9, 2001.
On Saturday, March 10, Navy professionals from Bath, Maine stand tall as the Navy welcomes the newest Aegis destroyer to the Fleet, WINSTON S. CHURCHILL (DDG-81).
The civilian and military experts from Supervisor, Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair (SUPSHIP) Bath, Maine oversaw the entire construction of this warship. Most recently, they supervised a successful completion of an important step in readying CHURCHILL's delivery to the Fleet. This step, known as builder trials, tests the ship's operations including launchings, ammunition onloads, missile shots, gun shoots, and high speed maneuvering at sea. The presence of SUPSHIP Bath at these trials and throughout the entire construction ensures the interests of the American taxpayers are protected.
In the recent second phase of builder trials, appropriately known as "bravo trials," SUPSHIP Bath supervised the ship's force as they conducted tests on the Aegis weapons system, including the Q-70 control console and the first ever 5"/62 Gun Mount.
SUPSHIP Bath oversaw the testing of the Navy's latest addition to the Combat Information Center (CIC) suite -- the Q-70. It is the man-machine interface between the Sailor and the Aegis weapons systems. The Q-70 is used to fire missiles and launch torpedoes while giving a clear and color analysis of tracking data, including course and speed. The previously commissioned Q-70 system Aegis destroyers USS OSCAR AUSTIN (DDG-79) and USS ROOSEVELT (DDG-80) did not have this complete system now installed on WINSTON S. CHURCHILL. The Q-70 system is playing a key role in the modernization of the ship's combat systems.
The Combat Information Center watch team was put to the test during bravo trials. Chief Petty Officer Bret Cope, CHURCHILL's Aegis weapon system expert, commented, "bravo trials exceeded all my expectations. The Aegis Test Team and the SUPSHIP team did a fantastic job training everyone. We had first time watch standers performing as if they were seasoned veterans."
WINSTON S. CHURCHILL is also the first ARLEIGH BURKE-class ship to test the new 5"/62 gun mount. The testing satisfied three major points: First, using aerodynamic projectiles, the 5"/62 proved capable of firing Extended Range Guided Munitions (ERGM); second, it fired standard munitions with increased accuracy; and finally, the hull's structural integrity remained unaffected while firing the higher energy release projectile. Normally, 25 rounds are fired during a weapons test, but for this test, 36 ERGM-type rounds and 96 standard rounds were expended.
Chief Petty Officer Gordon Mathis, the gun captain during the structural test firing said, "I could feel the energy difference when we fired the first ERGM round. I hope final development of the ERGM goes smoothly, I would love to be the first to test the production ERGM and employ it tactically."
When commissioning the his namesake, Admiral Arleigh Burke said, "These ships are built to fight." The professionals from SUPSHIP Bath are proud that they helped deliver WINSTON S. CHURCHILL to the Fleet -- the newest Navy ship built to fight.
SUPSHIP Bath, a part of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), administers Navy Department and other Department of Defense shipbuilding and repair contracts along the coast of Maine. SUPSHIP Bath also provides military and administrative support to all pre-commissioning units and their families within this area.