SKATE USS (SSN-578)

Built as a nuclear submarine under yard no 147 by Electric Boat Co, Groton for the USA Navy.
18 July 1955 ordered.
21 July 1955 laid down.
16 May 1957 launched as the USS SKATE (SSN-578)
Displacement 2,590 ton surfaced, 2,894 ton submerged, dim. 81.56 x 7.6 m,
Powered by S3W nuclear reactor, geared steam turbines, two shafts, 6,600 shp (4,900 kW)., twin shafts, speed 15.5 knots surfaced, 18 knots submerged.
Armament: 8 – 21 inch torpedo tubes, 6 forward and 2 aft.
Crew 84.
23 December 1957 commissioned.

USS SKATE (SSN-578), the third submarine of the United States Navy named for the SKATE, a type of ray, was the lead ship of the Skate class of nuclear submarines. She was the third nuclear submarine commissioned, the first to make a completely submerged trans-Atlantic crossing, and the second submarine to reach the North Pole and the first to surface there.

The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics on 18 July 1955, and her keel was laid in Groton, Connecticut on 21 July 1955. She was launched on 16 May 1957 sponsored by Mrs. Lewis L. Strauss, and commissioned on 23 December 1957 with Commander James F. Calvert in command.

Operational history
SKATE conducted shakedown training out of New London, Connecticut until 29 January 1958, when she cruised to the Bermuda operating area, then returned to her home port on 8 February. Sixteen days later, the nuclear powered submarine set a course for the Isle of Portland, England. Before returning home, she had also visited ports in France and the Netherlands.
On 30 July, SKATE sought the Arctic where she operated under the ice for 10 days. During this time, she surfaced nine times through the ice, navigated over 2,400 miles (3,900 km) under it, and on 11 August, 9:47 pm EDT (the week after USS NAUTILUS ) became the second sea ship to reach the North Pole. SKATE was unable to surface precisely at the Pole on the August voyage due to dangerous ice conditions as noted in the captain's 1960 book, Surface at the Pole: The Extraordinary Voyages of the USS SKATE, where Calvert said, "Seldom had the ice seemed so heavy and so thick as it did in the immediate vicinity of the pole. For days we had searched in vain for a suitable opening to surface in." The closest was to make radio contact at the surface from a polynya around 30 nm away, but not to surface fully owing to the risk of damage from ice. SKATE did manage to surface and make contact with Drifting Ice Station Alpha at 85ºN, 300 nm away.
After being denied access to visit Copenhagen in Denmark, she sailed into Bergen, Norway on 23 August. There she was inspected by king Olav V of Norway, US ambassador Frances E. Willis and minister of defence Nils Handal. The submarine made port calls in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France before returning to New London on 25 September 1958. In recognition of the dangerous and historic feat, the SKATE and its crew was given the Navy Unit Commendation award for "... braving the hazards of the polar ice pack...."
While the SKATE was unable to surface on its first voyage to the pole, on 17 March 1959, she became the first submarine to surface at the North Pole with Calvert describing the historic moment in his book, saying, "Slowly we blew the tanks and the SKATE moved reluctantly upward. It was apparent we were under heavier ice here than any we had experienced before." While at the pole, Calvert and the crew planted an American Flag in a cairn they built out of ice blocks and put a waterproof container in the cairn with a note commemorating the event. The crew also held a ceremony for the late Arctic explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins and committed his ashes at the pole. In 1931, Sir Hubert had conducted an Arctic expedition in the disarmed research submarine NAUTILUS (ex-USS O-12). After reaching the Pole, the SKATE continued its mission to pioneer arctic operations during periods of extreme cold and maximum ice thickness. When the submarine returned to port, she was awarded a bronze star in lieu of a second Navy Unit Commendation for demonstrating "... for the first time the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the dead of winter...." In the fall of 1959 and in 1960, SKATE participated in exercises designed to strengthen American antisubmarine defenses.

SKATE returned to General Dynamics in January 1961 for a regular overhaul and to have her reactor refueled for the first time. She put to sea in August and, for the next 11 months, conducted exercises to increase the operational readiness of her crew.
On 7 July 1962, SKATE again set course towards the North Pole. Five days later, USS SEADRAGON , did likewise from Pearl Harbor. The two submarines made their rendezvous on 31 July. After meeting, they operated together for over a week. Both submarines surfaced at the North Pole on 2 August and official greetings and insignia of Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet and Submarine Force Pacific Fleet were exchanged.
SKATE returned to New London and performed fleet and local operations for the next several years. She entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 28 April 1965, the first nuclear submarine overhauled there, for nuclear refueling and installation of the SUBSAFE package. SKATE was the first submarine to finish this major conversion program, which was instituted after the loss of USS THRESHER in 1963. The process was not completed until September 1967.

After sea trials and a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean, the submarine returned to New London and participated in exercises involved in the development of new undersea tactics and equipment.
In October 1968, SKATE was deployed to the Mediterranean where she operated with the Sixth Fleet for two months. The polar veteran operated under the Arctic ice again in March and April 1969, in October 1970, and in February 1971 . The remainder of her at sea time was spent in various Atlantic Fleet and NATO exercises. In July 1971, she began her third regular overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and did not return to New London until 17 November 1973. In August 1974, SKATE operated as a unit of the Atlantic Fleet.

In late 1977, SKATE transferred to Pearl Harbor, where she joined the other three SKATE class submarines as a member of Submarine Squadron 7.

Decommissioning
SKATE was decommissioned on 12 September 1986, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 October 1986, and disposed of by submarine recycling at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 6 March 1995.

Awards
SKATE received two Navy Unit Commendations and three Meritorious Unit Commendations during her career. The first Navy Unit Commendation was for the period 9–12 August 1958 and the second for the period 4 March through 6 April 1959. The Meritorious Unit Commendations were for the periods 24 March through 15 April 1969, 12 October through 18 November 1970 and 26 February through 9 March 1971. (Source – US Navy Unit Awards Webpage.)

Popular culture
SKATE appears in Tom Clancy's 1993 novel Without Remorse.
SKATE appears in the 1961 film, Parrish as the submarine upon which the title character is stationed.
The 1978 disaster film Gray Lady Down features a fictional SKATE-class submarine USS NEPTUNE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_SKATE_(SSN-578)
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QUEEN ELIZABETH HMS (R 08)

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QUEEN ELIZABETH HMS (R 08)

Postby D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:07 pm

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Built in 2009-2017 by Aircraft Carrier Alliance, Rosyth Yard, Five, for the Royal Navy, ordered on 20-05-2008, laid down on 07-07-2009, launched on 17-07-2014, completed on 07-12-2017.
Aircraft Carrier, displacement:65,000 tons, L:284m. B:39m. over the waterline, maximum 73m. height:56m. draft:11m. 2 Rolls-Royce MT30 gasturbines:48,000 hp. (36 MW.) 4-16 cyl. Wärtsilä 38 diesels each:15,600 hp. 4 Converteam electric engines each:27,000 hp. (20 MW.) 2 shafts, 29 kn. radius:8000-10,000 nm. complement:679 and 250 marines, armament:3 Phalanx CIWS 20 mm. guns, 4-30 mm. cannons, several small canons and GPMG's, 36 F-35 Lightning II aircrafts en 4 helicopters.
At the end of June 2017 she left for her first sea trial, in 2020 she will be fully operational.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom and capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft. She is named in honour of the first Queen Elizabeth, a renowned World War I era super-dreadnought, which in turn was named after Queen Elizabeth I. The new Queen Elizabeth will carry her namesake's honours, as well as her Tudor rose-adorned crest and motto.

The ship began sea trials in June 2017 and was commissioned on 7 December 2017. Her first Commanding Officer is Commodore Jerry Kyd, who had previously commanded the carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious. As Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Kyd will wear the Royal Navy rank of Captain while retaining the substantive rank of Commodore.

Queen Elizabeth has no catapults or arrestor wires and is instead designed to operate V/STOL aircraft; the air wing will typically consist of F-35B Lightning II multirole fighters and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare. The design emphasises flexibility, with accommodation for 250 Royal Marines and the ability to support them with attack helicopters and large troop transports such as Chinooks. She is the second Royal Navy vessel to bear the name Queen Elizabeth and is based at HMNB Portsmouth.

On 25 July 2007, the then Defence Secretary Des Browne, announced the order for two new carriers. At the time of approval the first carrier was expected to enter service in July 2015 and the budget was £4.085b for two ships. The financial crisis led to a political decision in December 2008 to slow production, delaying Queen Elizabeth until May 2016. This added £1.560b to the cost. By March 2010 the budget was estimated at £5.900b and in November 2013 the contract was renegotiated with a budget of £6,200m. The in-service date was further extended to 2020 in the Strategic Defence and Security Review in October 2010.

Construction of Queen Elizabeth began in 2009. The assembly took place in the Firth of Forth at Rosyth Dockyard from nine blocks built in six UK shipyards: BAE Systems Surface Ships in Glasgow, Babcock at Appledore, Babcock at Rosyth, A&P Tyne in Hebburn, BAE at Portsmouth and Cammell Laird (flight decks) at Birkenhead. Two of the lower main blocks, together weighing more than 6,000 tonnes and forming part of the base of the ship, were assembled and joined into one piece on 30 June 2011. On 16 August 2011, the 8,000-tonne Lower Block 03 of Queen Elizabeth left BAE Systems Surface Ships' Govan shipyard in Glasgow on a large ocean-going barge. Travelling 600 miles (970 km) around the northern coast of Scotland, the block arrived at Rosyth on the evening of 20 August 2011. On 28 October 2012, an 11,000-tonne section of the carrier began a lengthy journey around the south coast of England, avoiding bad weather from the shipbuilding hall at Govan to the Rosyth dockyard; it arrived on 21 November. The forward island was constructed at BAE Portsmouth and attached on 14 March 2013; the aft island was attached in June 2013. The ski jump was added in November 2013, leaving just the elevators and radar to be lifted into place. By September 2013 Queen Elizabeth was 80% complete internally. A journalist reported that computers on the vessel appeared to be using Windows XP, which had raised concerns about its vulnerability to a cyberattack, but the source of the confusion was later revealed to be a laptop in use by a contractor.

She is two and a half times the size of the Invincible-class, and has the ability to carry approximately three times as many aircraft. Despite this, Queen Elizabeth has marginally fewer crew than the Invincible-class. She is approximately three times as large as HMS Ocean. The ship has two superstructures, or islands, one for navigation and ship's operations and the other for flight control and aerial operations. The islands can take on each other's function in an emergency.

The two ships of the Queen Elizabeth class are each expected to be capable of carrying forty aircraft, a maximum of thirty-six F-35s and four helicopters. The 2010 SDSR anticipated the routine peacetime deployment of twelve F-35Bs, but a typical warload will be 24 F-35Bs and some helicopters. These could be a Maritime Force Protection package of nine anti-submarine Merlin HM2 and five Merlin Crowsnest for airborne early warning; alternatively a Littoral Manoeuvre package could include a mix of Royal Navy Commando Helicopter Force Merlin HC4, Wildcat AH1, RAF Chinooks, and Army Air Corps Apaches. As of September 2013 six landing spots are planned, but the deck could be marked out for the operation of ten medium helicopters at once, allowing the lift of a company of 250 troops. The hangars are designed for CH-47 Chinook operations without blade folding and for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, whilst the aircraft lifts can accommodate two Chinooks with unfolded blades.

The two ships of the Queen Elizabeth class will each carry four passenger transfer boats (PTBs) made by Blyth-based company Alnmaritec. Each PTB carries 36 passengers and two crew to operate the vessel. The first boat named is named Swordfish, after the World War II-era aircraft of that name. The boat is 13.1 m long and davit-launched. To enable the craft to fit into the docking area the navigation and radar masts are fitted with Linak actuators so that they can be lowered automatically from the command console. The enclosed cabin is heated and there is a set of heads forward. The second of the four PTBs is named Buccaneer after the Blackburn Buccaneer, and the third is Sea Vixen, named after the De Havilland Sea Vixen.

Defensive weapons include the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System for anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence, and 30mm Automated Small Calibre Guns and Miniguns for use against fast attack craft. She would be escorted into high risk areas by the Type 45 Destroyer, which was made specially to fulfil this role. In lower risk situations, frigates or even patrol vessels may be used instead.

Incorporated into the first two blocks is a sophisticated handling and deployment system for air weapons, with the aim of achieving a sortie generation rate which is about six times faster than any previous Royal Navy aircraft carrier. The system requires only 50 people and could be operated with as few as 12 in an emergency; it is estimated that 160 would be needed to produce the same efficiency with conventional equipment. The system moves munitions on pallets by means of remotely controlled electric vehicles and lifts.

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