July 30, 2004

Navy to build ships to ABS class

The next generation of combatants and support vessels built by the U.S. Navy will be constructed in accordance with technical guidelines from class society ABS.The ABS Guide for Building and Classing Naval Vessels was authorized earlier this month when the ABS Naval Technical Committee met in Washington, DC.

The document marks a milestone in the cooperative effort between ABS and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to develop technical criteria for non-nuclear surface combatants. æThe multi-year project involved representatives from ABS, NAVSEA, the Naval Warfare Centers, other Navy commands, shipyards, design agents and academia.

"These Rules are currently being used in the design and construction of both the next generation destroyer DD (X) and the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a high-speed multi-mission platform ship," says Glenn Ashe, who has just been named Vice President of Government Operations, ABS Americas. "These will be the first naval combatants to be classed with ABS."

Since joining ABS in 1990, Ashe has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility from Director of Engineering for the ABS Americas Division to Director of Government Operations and now Vice President of Government Operations.

"Glenn has been instrumental in introducing classification standards within the naval arena," says ABS Americas President Todd Grove. "He has worked with the U.S. Navy to provide an efficient and commercially-based approach to the design and construction of its new generation vessels. æThis takes on great importance as new designs and materials have been proposed for these vessels."

Ashe is a graduate of Georgia Tech, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, as well as a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with advanced degrees in Naval Architecture and Marine and Ocean Engineering. ¾He served in the U.S. Navy, both active duty and Naval Reserve, as well as at private naval architectural design firms before joining ABS. ¾Ashe is actively involved as an officer in both the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME).

Although ABS has had a longstanding relationship with the U.S. Navy, the signing of a formal Cooperative Agreement with NAVSEA in 2003 intensified the focus for ABS to provide further technical support and guidance for the Navy's shipbuilding programs. æThus ABS and the U.S. Navy jointly developed the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Naval Vessels. æ Where appropriate and as supported by public law these Rules will be the technical basis and authorization for ABS certification for selected ship systems and classification of combatant ships. The Guide addresses the bulk of hull, mechanical, electrical, environmental and safety related criteria for the vessels.

Ashe points out that the U.S. Navy continues to maintain criteria for the unique military aspects of combatants, including mission systems, for which classification society Rules are inappropriate. "These U.S. Navy SYSCOM Rules along with the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Naval Vessels and other non-Government standards will result in a comprehensive yardstick against which the acceptability of a ship can be measured," he said.

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