NEW ORLEANS, July 11, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- USNS Brittin (T-AKR 305), the sixth of seven Bob Hope-class strategic sealift ships being built by Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Ship Systems sector, was delivered to the U.S. Navy today at the company's Avondale Operations in New Orleans.
Participating in the delivery were representatives of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the supervisor of shipbuilding, conversion and repair, New Orleans, and Ship Systems officials.
Delivery took place following Brittin's integrated sea trials, which combined the formerly separate builder's and Navy Acceptance Trials into one evolution. Brittin, and the 150-member Ship Systems integrated trials team, scored the highest grade ever for a strategic sealift ship, and also recorded a rating of "excellent" by Navy inspectors.
For the first time, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems' New Orleans and Pascagoula, Miss., facilities were utilized for a sea trial.
"The Navy is happy with this ship," commented Capt. Paul Strifler, USN, the Navy's Inspection and Survey Board's senior inspector. "This ship operated well, its equipment performed very, very well, and it's all because of the excellent outfitting that these shipbuilders were able to achieve. Having seen the tremendous improvement over the last three ships, I know this shipyard has the potential to achieve an Outstanding rating on its final ship of the series, USNS Benavidez."
"We are very pleased with the results attained as we deliver Brittin," said Dr. Philip A. Dur, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the Ship Systems sector. "The high-water mark was Brittin's performance on integrated sea trials. The success of this early delivery is directly attributable to our skilled craftsmen who built this important fleet asset. Our program management, the supervisor of shipbuilding, the Naval Sea Systems Command and our Avondale Operations proved a remarkable team. We are proud of all of them."
George Yount, vice president of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems' Avondale Operations, praised the ship and the men and women who worked on Brittin. "This ship was well prepared, and the positive results of the integrated trials and today's delivery to the Navy demonstrate that. Many employees worked extremely hard on Brittin, and I am proud of their excellent performance."
The ship will remain at Avondale for several weeks of crew training before departing for its homeport in Norfolk, Va.
Brittin and her sister ships of the class are designed to support the nation's ability to deploy military equipment and supplies quickly to U.S. troops around the world and provide prepositioning and surge sealift capacity to contingency areas worldwide.
The 950-foot-long, large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ships are among the largest in the Navy's Fleet. The ship is designed and constructed with more than 380,000 square feet of cargo capacity and is capable of carrying up to 1,000 military wheeled or tracked vehicles and other cargo.
Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; New Orleans and Tallulah, La.; and in a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. The sector, which currently employs more than 17,000 shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana, is one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction, and life cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies, and for commercial vessels of all types.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an $18 billion, global defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and nuclear and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With nearly 100,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
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CONTACT: Ed Winter Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (504) 436-5253