LSV II Cutthroat, a quarter-scale version of the upcoming Virginia class New Attack Submarine (NSSN), will be the world’s largest underwater autonomous submarine vehicle. At 111 feet long, the Cutthroat is half the size of a World War II submarine. Cutthroat is to be about 24 feet longer than Kokanee to resemble the hull shape of the Virginia and is to be quieter than Kokanee.
The LSV 2 will provide the capability to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of new technologies that will result in major improvements in performance for the U.S. Navy’s new attack submarine, USS Virginia (SSN 774). The LSV 2 is being designed and built by an industry team from Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics/Electric Boat Company under contract from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).
After delivery in 2001, LSV 2 will operate on Lake Pend Oreille at the Acoustic Research Detachment in Bayview, Idaho, the Navy’s laboratory for demonstrating submarine stealth technology. The facility is operated by the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Carderock Division.
Cutthroat, named after a native Idaho trout, was named in 1997 after a selection process by nearby Athol Elementary School. The Navy asked the school to decide on a name from a list of indigenous Idaho fish. Many of these students attended the keel-laying in October 1997 and signed their names on the hull during the November 2000 ceremony.
Cutthroat is similar to Kokanee (LSV-1), but more advanced. Enhancements include a larger overall scale — 29 percent, vice 25 percent for Kokanee — which will improve the fidelity of test data to full-scale results. Cutthroat is designed to be more modular than Kokanee, so that major modifications, including radical hull changes, can be made with less impact to other systems onboard the vessel. Another advantage is an increase in ODAS capability. The Cutthroat ODAS will have twice as many data channels recorded as Kokanee at delivery ? 512, vice 256 ? and this is upgradable to 1,536 recorded channels. The Cutthroat ODAS converts the data from analog to digital form and processes the data digitally. In Cutthroat, data recording can be configured electronically under computer control, whereas Kokanee uses a patch panel. Cutthroat is equipped with a 3,000 horsepower permanent-magnet, radial-gap electric propulsion motor, provided to the Navy under a unique partnership agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat, the owner of the technology. This motor is easily upgradable to 6,000 horsepower. Other order-of-magnitude improvements were engineered into the guidance, navigation, control, and propulsion systems, including the addition of torque sensors and other sensors of mechanical data for better reconstruction of the scenario.
Congress authorized the Secretary of the Navy to pursue a new Large-Scale Vehicle (LSV II) demonstrator that is not limited by form or single hull design. In January 1997 the Naval Sea Systems Command contracted with Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), for the design and construction of an Advanced Large Scale Vehicle (LSV II). These efforts include all engineering, technical, coordination, support and manufacturing efforts necessary to design and construct LSV II. LSV II will replicate large scale submarines in design and capability and is to be used as a demonstration platform for the insertion of new submarine technologies related to deep diving, nuclear powered attack submarines. It is envisioned that NNS will team, via a subcontract, with Electric Boat Corporation for some of these requirements.
CUTTHROAT represents a significant improvement in reconfigurability, quieting, and maneuvering. The modular design of CUTTHROAT provides planned separation points in the vehicle structure to facilitate reconfiguration of the vehicle. The acoustic stealth characteristics of CUTTHROAT are invaluable to technology development. CUTTHROAT provides the Navy a unique capability to conduct large-scale hydrodynamic experiments, including highly instrumented maneuvering and recoverability testing. Appendages such as the sail, dihedrals, and control surfaces are instrumented with dynamometers supporting critical data acquisition. A unique partnering agreement with industry provides a contractor developed and owned permanent magnet motor for electric drive main propulsion. At delivery, CUTTHROAT will have a 3,000 shaft horsepower (shp) plant coupled with a state-of-the-art electronic motor controller, expandable to 6,000 shp with additional motor controller modules. Other advanced technologies on CUTTHROAT include electro-mechanical hydraulic actuators in the steering and diving system, positive flood port closures, and several other acoustic quieting measures.
LSV II Cutthroat was used as a demonstrator vehicle for the advanced technologies anticipated for the submarine. After delivery in 2001, the LSV-2 operated on Lake Pend Oreille at the Acoustic Research Detachment in Bayview, Idaho. On 12 February 1999 Newport News Shipbuilding was awarded a $46,868,246 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the completion of design and construction of the submarine large scale vehicle CUTTHROAT (LSV 2). Work will be performed in Newport News, Va. (40%); Groton, Conn. (35%), and at numerous undetermined sites throughout the United States (25%), and was expected to be completed by May 2001. This contract was not competitively procured. p>Newport News Shipbuilding, the prime contractor, teamed with Electric Boat Corporation to build and design CUTTHROAT for the Naval Sea Systems Command. The same team built the first submarine of the VIRGINIA Class, with Electric Boat serving as the prime contractor. Other CUTTHROAT team members include GNB Technologies (propulsion batteries), Naval Surface Warfare Center (Onboard Data Acquisition System), Lockheed Martin (Guidance, Navigation, and Control System), Vehicle Control Technologies (Guidance, Navigation, and Control System), Allied Signal (Electro-Mechanical Hydraulic Actuators), and Eaton (Electric Drive Control System).
LSV 2 Cutthroat provided submarine design engineers a platform to test advanced submarine technologies. Cutthroat, a 205-ton, large scale submarine test vehicle, will be used to affordably explore and test emerging technologies and to conduct physics-based experiments. Specific emphasis will be on stealth, hydrodynamics, hydroacoustics and propulsion designs to permit technology insertion into current and future submarines. The LSV 2 provided the capability to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of new technologies that will result in major improvements in performance for the U.S. Navy’s new attack submarine, USS Virginia (SSN 774). The LSV 2 was designed and built by an industry team from Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics/Electric Boat Company under contract from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).
In achieving a quieter and more maneuverable test platform for the next century, Cutthroat applied advanced electric drive technologies and a unique partnering agreement with industry to field he latest in permanent magnet propulsion motor and motor drive systems. High data rate sensor recording enabled improved hydrodynamic experimentation. Advancements in control surface actuation and ballast tank solid port closure systems will be demonstrated. The auto-pilot and guidance and navigation control systems were the most sophisticated of its kind.
The facility is operated by the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Carderock Division. Cutthroat, named after a native Idaho trout, was named in 1997 after a selection process by nearby Athol Elementary School. The Navy asked the school to decide on a name from a list of indigenous Idaho fish. Many of these students attended the keel-laying in October 1997 and signed their names on the hull during the November 2000 ceremony.