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Events | Northrop-Grumman | Official Reports | Scandals & Investigations | Submarines | Surface Ships - Combat | USA

NGC, GD Inspection Failures Call Ships Into Question

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SSN 777 construction(click to view full) On May 14/09, a welding inspector at Northrop Grumman’s Newport News, VA shipyard did the right thing, and complained that a fellow inspector was signing off on ship welds without actually inspecting them. The inspector’s admission of wrongdoing created an extremely serious situation. He had supervised over 10,000 welds, on 8 Virginia class nuclear fast attack submarines (SSN 777-783, and SSN 785) and on the new nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush [CVN 77]. About 10% of the submarine welds were SUBSAFE joints involving critical parts or hull integrity. The final report has now been released, but a similar issue has now arisen at co-producer General Dynamic Electric Boat… Northrop Grumman Newport News and General Dynamics Electric Boat use a Shipyard Weld Status System (SWSS) to keep track of every shipbuilding weld – a total that can run to 300,000 for a Virginia Class submarine. Newport News has used that system to identify welds supervised by that inspector, which may force re-inspection. Northrop Grumman immediately informed the Navy of the situation, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) reportedly began its own investigation on May 20/09. The effects of these revelations extended to […]

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