After three years of work, US Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) undocked Los Angeles-class submarine USS San Francisco (SSN 711) as part of her conversion to a moored training ship.
The boat has been at the shipyard since 2017, undergoing conversion to a moored training ship for use by both officers and sailors undergoing training at the Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU) in Charleston, South Carolina. La Jolla (MTS 701) completed its conversion at NNSY in November 2019.
Converting San Francisco into a moored training ship required NNSY to separate the boat into three pieces, the removal of and recycling the center section, and then adding three new sections.
The new hull sections arrived from Electric Boat via barge, which NNSY then craned into the dock and attached to the San Francisco. “We’ve been in dock for 34 months, so it’s been a lot of effort to get to this day, but it’s exciting to be undocking with more than 90 percent production work complete,” said Project Superintendent Charles Brock. “We applied a lot of lessons learned from the La Jolla in areas such as Engineering Safeguard Features piping installation, component outfitting and tank restoration.”
“Over the next year, San Francisco will undergo preparations for the final test program, grooming of the forward electrical systems and spaces for turnover to the ship,” said Brock. San Francisco is expected to be complete its conversion to a full-fledged moored training ship in late summer of 2021.
San Francisco and La Jolla replace former submarines originally commissioned in 1964 and that have been in use as training platforms for the past three decades.