Daily Archives: December 22, 2012

Volunteer, retired Canadian Submariner receives Diamond Jubilee medal

Local volunteer and retired navy chief Larry Skaalrud has been honoured with a new medal.

Skaalrud, 70, an Airdrie resident since 1996, received a Diamond Jubilee Medal on Nov. 27 during a ceremony at McDougall Centre in Calgary.

“It’s a feeling you just can’t explain,” said Skaalrud who said it was an honour to receive it.

He was nominated by members of the Submariners Association of Canada, an organization Skaalrud started in 1995.

Involved with the Canadian Navy for 32 years, Skaalrud said he and other submariners wanted a way to stay in touch.

During his time with the Navy, he worked on submarines. He said the longest trip he took underwater was 29 days from Victoria to Hawaii.

“You really get to know one another,” he said, explaining the organization is a way for everyone to remain connected years later.

He said inside the submarine about 74 officers would work together. Now, because of technology, less crewmen are needed – about 60. He said everyone worked together and knew how to man all aspects of the vessel.

After forming the submariner association in 1995, two other chapters have started up in Canada.

The association attends local memorial ceremonies and services, naval ceremonies, and provides financial assistance to veteran groups and area sea cadets.

It’s open to people qualified on submarines and hosts reunions, the most recent one four years ago, which allows former submariners to get together and remember their days together.

He also said new submariners are part of the organization as well.

He’s still involved with the association and recently toured the HMCS Ojibwa, Canada’ first Cold War submarine, now decommissioned and docked in Port Burwell Harbour, Ontario as the centrepiece for the new Museum of Naval History.

Skaalrud who grew up in Carsland, left when he joined the navy. He returned to his home province in 1996 and settled in Airdrie.

And once he arrived, Skaalrud immersed himself in the community here and worked eight years at the City of Airdrie as a utility technician.

He is a past president of the Airdrie Legion, a former member of Citizens on Patrol and helps with Ducks Unlimited. Currently, he is president of Airdrie Village Association, a group of local residents dedicated to maintaining the atmosphere of Airdrie’s downtown neighbourhoods.

The Diamond Jubilee Medal marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.

The medal honours significant contributions and achievements by 60,000 Canadians.

Source – Airdrie City View

Russia builds deep-sea research submarine

Construction of a nuclear-powered deep-sea research submarine has started in Russia. The sub will also be used in search and rescue operations.

Oscar-class submarine

An Oscar-class submarine, on which the design of the new submarine is based.

Designed by the St Petersburg-based Rubin Central Design Bureau, the submarine – dubbed ‘Project 09852’ – is based on the 949A Oscar-class naval submarine. It will be used to conduct multi-purpose research in remote areas of the oceans and to take part in search and rescue operations. The vessel will carry smaller rescue submersibles. In addition, the new submarine will be employed in the installation of subsea equipment and inspections; testing new types of scientific and research equipment; and monitoring transport routes.A ceremony was held at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk in northwestern Russia on 20 December to mark the start of construction of the vessel. It was attended by the commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Viktor Chirkov and Sevmash general director Mikhail Budnichenko.

The expected completion date of the submarine was not disclosed.

The Sevmash shipyard’s main activity is the construction of ships and submarines for the Russian Navy. It is the only shipyard in Russia producing nuclear-powered submarines.

Source – WNN

Submarine Design Effort Gets $2B Boost

 A U.S. Navy concept for the Ohio-Replacement Program submarine.

 A U.S. Navy concept for the Ohio-Replacement Program submarine. (Naval Sea Systems Command)

The effort to design and develop the U.S. Navy’s next ballistic missile submarine got a major boost Friday with the announcement of a nearly $2 billion contract award to General Dynamics.

The contract was awarded by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to GD’s Electric Boat division in Groton, Conn., the only shipbuilder deemed capable of designing the Ohio-Class Replacement Program (ORP) submarine.

NAVSEA, in a statement accompanying the contract announcement noted that “special incentives” are included in the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to compensate for the lack of competition.

“The Navy established a structured series of incentives to motivate General Dynamics Electric Boat and the government to further innovation to lower non-recurring engineering costs, construction costs, and operation and support costs,” Capt. William Brougham, NAVSEA’s Ohio Replacement program manager, said in the statement. “This contract employs financial incentives designed to align the government’s requirement for cost savings with our industrial partners’ innovation and ability to earn profit.”

Bob Hamilton, a spokesman for Electric Boat, acknowledged that cost-control is a top priority for the ORP program.

“The Navy has made clear that development of the next-generation strategic deterrent is its highest priority, and that affordability is key,” Hamilton said Dec. 21 in an e-mail to Defense News. “The Navy has stated that it expects this contract will provide it with the best quality product at the lowest cost, and we agree.

“EB has developed a Design for Affordability (DFA) program that we successfully used on the Virginia [SSN 774 attack submarine] program to redesign the bow while reducing the cost $40 million per ship, as well as reducing life-cycle costs. EB, along with our subcontractors and vendors, will continue to utilize the DFA program, and working with the Navy, we expect to meet the cost reduction targets in the contract,” Hamilton wrote.

“This contract will provide stability to our engineering and design workforce as well as the supplier base, as well assure that the schedule for the nation’s strategic deterrent submarine is maintained.”

The ORP is expected to produce 12 new submarines to replace 14 existing Ohio-class submarines.

The latest contract, according to NAVSEA, also covers work on a Common Missile Compartment with Britain’s Royal Navy, which is developing a new ballistic submarine to replace its Vanguard-class submarines. Both new designs will use the same Trident D5 missiles now in service.

In addition to ORP design work and continuing design and development of the missile compartment, the new contract award will, according to NAVSEA, provide for “shipbuilder and vendor component and technology development, engineering integration, concept design studies, cost reduction initiatives using a design for affordability process, and full scale prototype manufacturing and assembly.”

Rear Adm. Dave Johnson, NAVSEA’s program executive officer for submarines, noted that the Navy’s approach covers the life of the program and its ships.

“This contract moves the Ohio Replacement forward in setting the program’s technical foundation — ship specifications, system descriptions, and design products,” Johnson said in NAVSEA’s statement.

“We are setting the tone for the whole program. By emphasizing cost control across the platform through its entire life, we will ensure that every dollar is spent wisely while designing a submarine class that will be in service through 2083.”

Detail design work on the new submarine is expected to begin in fiscal 2017, with construction set to start in 2012.

After a seven-year construction period, the first ship is expected to makes its first deterrent patrol in 2031.

Source – Defense News