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Posted: 12/14/2005 4:25:10 PM EDT
USS Kearsarge Modifies Structure to Accommodate Ospreys

Story Number: NNS051212-07
Release Date: 12/12/2005 6:03:00 PM

By Journalist 1st Class (SW) Robert Keilman
USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)
is receiving structural and equipment upgrades to become the first
amphibious assault ship to accommodate the Marine Corps' MV-22 Osprey.

The contract is part of an array of maintenance and equipment upgrades
being conducted during Kearsarge's shipyard period at BAE Systems
Norfolk, Va., until late February.

"Kearsarge is the first ship to have modifications performed for MV- 22
and it's one of the largest projects we're working on during the yard
period," said Lt. j.g. John St. John, Kearsarge's electronic maintenance
officer. "We're fabricating work spaces and introducing new equipment so
we can accommodate this type of aircraft."

The new workspaces, St. John explained, will be equipped with work
benches so Sailors and embarked Marines can maintain the Ospreys and
store its equipment.

"In one of the other spaces, there will be an MV-22 Tube Bending Shop,"
St. John added. "Here, Sailors and Marines will utilize a titanium tube
bending machine to fabricate parts they'll need for Ospreys."

In addition to Osprey modifications, Kearsarge's Rolling Air Frame
Missile (RAM) weapon system and Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) will also
receive upgrades.

"We're getting a RAM Mk 3 upgrade that will give us infrared missile
capabilities," said St. John. "Our CIWS [Close-In Weapons System] will
also have supporting rods, which will help hold its barrels steadier.
These upgrades will help give Kearsarge a better self-defense
capability."


St. John added that other minor upgrades to the ship include a safety
rail modification for its SPN 43 radar and an alignment for its SPN 41
radar, as well as inspections to ship's forward and aft boilers.

For related news, visit the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Navy NewsStand page at
http://www.news.navy.mil/local/lhd3/.
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