Naval technology showcased during San Francisco's Fleet Week

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Fleet Week is not just an opportunity to meet service members, it's also a chance to check out new technology used by the Navy. (KGO-TV )

Fleet Week is well underway in San Francisco. One of the best parts is getting to meet the service members. Another big attraction is the giant Navy ships on display. SKY7 HD was over the bay for the Fleet Week Parade of Ships Friday morning.

Those ships, like the USS Coronado, have a lot of technology that's not visible to eye.

They don't make things like they used to and in the case of the U.S. Navy that may be a good thing.

FLEET WEEK SCHEDULE: Click here for the full schedule of events

Electronic Technician First Class Hector Galvan knows the ship like the back of his hand.

"This is the most advanced ship I've ever served on. It's got the latest and greatest toys and gadgets the navy has to offer," Galvan said.

The USS Coronado is a new breed of ship, faster and lighter.

"Very maneuverable. This ship can walk sideways," Galvan said.

PHOTOS: Fleet Week air shows takes flight over San Francisco

Gone is the old-fashioned helm. It's been replaced with the joysticks one might find on an airplane and it's one of only two ships in the Navy with cruise control.

"And the ship will automatically steer. The levers will move by themselves," Galvan said.

Meaning the ship's navigator can spend more time looking out at the water instead of down at a map.

"Which is really the main job of being a watch-stander is to safely navigate the ship," said Lt. Hansberry a navigator," said Lt. Mark Hansberry, the ship's navigator.

VIDEO: Parade of Ships takes center stage at Fleet Week


Just about everything about the ship is different, including what it's made of. It turns out that's yet another thing the USS Coronado has in common with an aircraft.

This ship is made of aluminum, which is one of the reasons its able to go as fast as it can. Aluminum is more flammable than the steel used in other ships. The insulation is fire retardant, important when there are things like jet fuel are around.

"We have one of the biggest flight decks in the Navy," Galvan said.

It's like the Swiss Army knife of ships. In fact, that's the whole point of the USS Coronado. It sails short missions of all different types. Currently, it's set up for an anti-piracy operation.

"They go out and they board vessels," Galvan said.

But turn a key, and it can shoot down missiles, or send an unmanned submarine to root out mines.

"These screens allow us to see what the ship sees electronically," Hansberry said.

Of course, such a versatile ship requires a versatile crew, so when he's not wiring networks, Galvan is tying down helicopters.

"Another thing I do is I'm the ship's barber," Galvan added.

ABC7 News will be streaming the festivities online from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Check back here for live streams.

For full coverage on Fleet Week, click here.


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