Tag Archives: US Navy


Royal Navy Submariner earns dolphins - the American way

A Royal Navy submariner recently received US Navy Submarine Service “dolphins”, making him just the second UK officer to qualify on a US Navy submarine.

It has been a tough process, but getting my US Navy dolphins is one of the highlights of my career and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Lieutenant Matt Main RN

Lieutenant Matt Main has already earned his Royal Navy dolphins – the unique badge which signifies a qualified submariner – but on June 10 he was presented with the US equivalent after a gruelling 27 month training and qualification process.

Matt, a Marine Engineer (Submarines) in the Royal Navy, was presented with the US dolphins by Commander George Perez, Commanding Officer of the USS New Mexico, after his success as part of the US-UK Personnel Exchange Programme.

Fully integrated into the crew of USS New Mexico, Matt is currently the Damage Control Assistant and will become the Assistant Engineer in due course before returning to the Royal Navy.

US Navy submarine officers must qualify both forward and aft to earn their dolphins and so, for Matt, learning to drive the submarine both surfaced and submerged has been a unique experience.

“It is a real privilege to serve on this fine submarine with such a professional, motivated crew,”

said Matt.

“It has been a tough process, but getting my US Navy dolphins is one of the highlights of my career and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

“The welcome I received when I reported on board a year ago was incredibly warm and I am proud to call these men my brothers.”

Commander Perez said:

“After a fast-paced, demanding year of intense operations, Lieutenant Main has earned his gold US dolphins.

“He is fully qualified to stand Officer of the Deck on USS New Mexico and will do so repeatedly over the next year as he assumes an even larger role in the day-to-day operations of the ship.

“When an officer earns his dolphins in the US Navy, it signifies that they have demonstrated, through performance as the Officer of the Deck, a thorough understanding of all aspects of submarine operations.”

Lieutenant Main was presented his dolphins during a ceremony alongside HM Naval Base Clyde. Witnessing events were the crew of USS New Mexico as well as Royal Navy colleagues.

Matt is the second Royal Navy officer to earn US Navy submarine dolphins, with the first, Lieutenant Commander Ralph Coffey, receiving his after serving with USS Providence from 2010-12.

Source – Royal Navy Website

BAE Systems to Aid U.S. Navy in Maintaining Submarine Torpedoes

BAE Systems supports the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport Division in Washington State with a range of services, helping to maintain the operational readiness of submarine torpedoes and other weapon systems. (Photo: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems supports the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport Division in Washington State with a range of services, helping to maintain the operational readiness of submarine torpedoes and other weapon systems. (Photo: BAE Systems)


The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems an $80 million contract to continue providing systems engineering and other technical services to support the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Keyport Division in Washington State. BAE Systems, along with six local subcontractors, will assist the Navy in maintaining the operational readiness of submarine torpedoes and other weapon systems.

The three-year contract, managed by Naval Sea Systems Command, builds on BAE Systems’ ongoing support of the Navy’s submarine weapons programs. For more than 30 years, the company has provided a range of services to NUWC in Keyport, Washington; Newport, Rhode Island; and Groton, Connecticut. In addition, for more than 40 years, BAE Systems has provided systems engineering and integration to the Navy’s submarine-based Strategic Systems Programs. That workforce, based in Rockville, Maryland, ensures the readiness of the Trident II fleet ballistic missile and the SSGN Attack Weapons System.

“All of these systems are critical to national defense and security,” said Kris Busch, vice president and general manager of Maritime & Defense Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our team has the experience and the expertise to continue supporting these Navy programs for many years to come.”

At the Keyport site, the BAE Systems team provides life-cycle systems support services for the Heavyweight and Lightweight Torpedo, and for information assurance and submarine towed systems. These services include engineering and technical support, performance analysis and monitoring, training, logistics, troubleshooting and problem resolution, and project management.

The team also supports tactical software systems development at Keyport, in addition to administrative, training and ammunition operations at the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific in nearby Bangor, Washington.

Source – Market Watch

Source – Business Wire

US Navy invests in submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missile guidance upgrades and test


The U.S. Navy is investing more than a quarter-billion dollars to upgrade the missile guidance systems in the Trident II D5 submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missile.

The Navy Strategic Systems Programs Office in Washington last week awarded two Trident II upgrade contracts — one to Charles Stark Draper Laboratories Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., and the other to Aero Thermo Technology Inc. in Huntsville, Ala., for Trident II nuclear missile guidance upgrades.

The Trident II is the primary weapon aboard Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. The missile has a range of more than 7,000 miles and carries four independently targeted 475-kiloton nuclear warheads.

Draper Lab received a $257.8 million contract to provide MK6 MOD 1 guidance upgrades to the Trident II nuclear missile, including circuit card assembly materials with electronic components, as well as data package assemblies.


Aero Thermo, meanwhile, received a $6.8 million contract to provide guidance systems, technical, analytical and program services to support the TRIDENT II missile. The contracts are part of the Navy’s Strategic Program Alteration (SPALT) for the Trident II D5 missile.

Aero Thermal engineers will support key guidance system technology development and coordination between the Navy and U.S. Air Force for current and next-generation strategic systems. The Navy and Air Force are working together on strategic ballistic missile technology development. Both services invest in research to ensure unique and critical design and development skills for strategic weapons.

Draper Lab will do its work in Pittsfield, Mass.; Cambridge, Mass; Clearwater, Fla.; Terrytown, N.Y.; and El Segundo, Calif., and should be finished by the end of 2016. Aero Thermal will do its work in Huntsville, Ala., and should be finished by the end of this year.

Aero Thermal’s contract has options that would increase the contract’s value to $20.7 million and extend work through the end of 2015.

These contracts are part of a Navy effort begun in 2002 to extend the life of the D5 missiles to the year 2040 by replacing obsolete components with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. Upgrades involved the missile reentry systems and guidance systems.

The first flight test of a D5 extended-life subsystem, the MK 6 Mod 1 guidance system, was in early 2012 aboard the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Tennessee (SSBN 734).

The missile has a range longer than 7,000 miles; has a maximum speed of 13,000 miles per hour, and has precision guidance from inertial sensors with star sighting. No GPS-guided Trident D5 missiles have been deployed.

The Trident II missile carries as many as four independently targeted W88 475-kiloton nuclear warheads. That warhead discharges the energy of 475,000 tons of TNT, and is roughly 30 times the size of the U.S. nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

Source – Military & Aerospace