The latest Freedom class LCS, USS Cooperstown (LCS 23) stopped in Halifax yesterday for about 8 hours. the ship arrived in the morning and sailed from the dockyard at 4:30.
The freedom class LCS program has been beset by a number of issues, including problems with the combining gear that connect the diesel engines and the turbines to the shafts, given the location of that combining gear, the navy has mothballed many of the early ships of the class, as the repair is too costly.
The USS Gerald R. Ford offered a media availability yesterday, which i had the privilege to attend. All manner of tour boats, and a Halifax transit ferry were pressed into service to move people form the carrier to shore and back, including tour vessels from Oak Island and Lunenburg – sort of a mini Dunkirk.
The carrier is designed for stern boarding, and a barge was used as a floating dock. from there, its up two flights to the hanger deck.
Those doors lead to the hanger deck.
The flight deck is several flights of stairs up from the hanger deck.
(below) the view form vultures alley, the lowest balcony on the tower.
Most of the Air wing looked to be on deck, and was made up up of F-18 hornets. This one had a kill; a SU-22 in 2017.
(above) E-2 Hawkeye (below) SH-60 seahawk (which is the naval variant of a blackhawk)
As Part of the Media availability, various officials spoke of the the importance of the deployment, both to test the Ford, but also to hone interoperability between navies, and show that nato can work together as a unified force.
The Ford has on board a liaison officer from each of the participating navies. (Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and Spain. These officers also spoke to the importance of the work
The Island class patrol boat USCGC Tybee arrived earlier this week for a port visit. the vessel is based in Woods Hole MA, and is due to sail at 1500 this afternoon.
the Island class are 110′ long, and based on a British design. They were constructed between 1985 and 1992, and 37 vessels of the class are still in active service. Powered by 2 diesel engines, they have a top speed of 29.5knots and a range of 4500km. the Island class carries a crew on 16 – 2 officers and 14 enlisted personnel.
Danish Navy Frigate HDMS Triton arrived this afternoon, and tied up at the dockyard.
The ship is one of four Thetis Class frigates and is based on the StanFlex 3000 design. She was commissioned in 1991, making her slightly older then the Halifax Class. The ship normally carries a crew of 60, but has accommodation for 100.
HDMS Triton will also be participating in OP Nanook.
the USCGC Bear arrived this morning and tied up at the dockyard. Bear is a Medium Endurance cutter, and was commissioned in 1983. The ship is home-ported in Portsmouth Virginia. This class of vessel frequently visits Halifax, though typically New England based ships. Bear has not been here during the existence of this blog.
The Ship will be participating in Op Nanook. The Danish Navy Frigate HDMS Triton is also due this afternoon.
The French Navy support vessel Rhone put in to the dockyard for a port visit today. FS Rhone will be participating in OP Nanook, the Canadian Forces annual arctic exercises. The ship was first here in 2018, before she had been commissioned. Rhone is the second of a class of 4 vessels.
Bâtiment de soutien et d’assistance hauturiers (BSAH) vessels will be used by the French Navy for rescue missions, environmental protection, work in military ports and general support for other navy units.
She is tied up next to the casino for easy viewing.
USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, LCS-21 arrived Sunday for a port visit. The ship is Due to sail tomorrow morning. Like most LCS built at Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, the ship stopped in Halifax on her way to her home port.
USS St Louis Bypassed Halifax during Covid in 2020. Early ships faced issues with the Combining Gear – the Gear box that transfers power to the shafts form either the diesel engines or the turbines. Because of these issues, Completed ships were not accepted by the navy untill alterations could be made, which led to 3 visits in November 2019.
Due to the location of the combining gear, it was determined to not be cost effective to repair early ships. USS Freedom was Decommissioned in Sept 2021, and Fort Worth, Detroit and Little Rock are set to be decommissioned this year. 5 Additional ships are currently under construction.