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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

June 8, 2009

Austal USA completes LCS 2 main engine light off

Austal USA has successfully completed main engine light off of the two MTU 9,100 kW 20V 8000 M71 propulsion diesel engines and the two 22,000 kW GE LM2500 gas turbine engines on the General Dynamics team's Littoral Combat Ship, Independence (LCS 2).

The light off of the main engines follows the fuel load and the testing of all four generators.

According to General Dynamics, all components of the combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) main propulsion system which drive the ship's four independent steerable water jets have been tested. The two diesel engines, two gas turbine engines, and four water jets are operational and all four propulsion shafts have been successfully rotated. The four ship's service diesel generators were successfully brought on-line in earlier testing.

The ship will soon undergo a series of dockside tests before going to sea for builder's trials this summer.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is the prime contractor for the General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship Team. Partners include Austal USA, which is building the ship, and BAE Systems, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, L3 Communications Marine Systems, Maritime Applied Physics Corporation and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.

Jeff Geiger, president of Bath Iron Works, said, "With the main propulsion system now ready, we're well on the way toward getting this ship to sea. It's a major accomplishment for the GD LCS team and Navy personnel who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point. We will continue to perform system activation, testing and integration efforts over the next several weeks but with this milestone under our belts, everyone is looking forward to taking in the lines and putting Independence through its paces in the Gulf of Mexico."

Joe Rella, President and COO of Austal USA commented, "Austal USA continues to establish its rightful place as one of the world's premium shipbuilders. The successful achievement of this major milestone is another example of Austal's commitment to the LCS program's goal of completing sea trials and delivering the LCS 2 to the Navy as quickly as possible.


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