Hull of Virginia-class submarine Indiana complete

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Indiana (SSN 789), the 16th Virginia-class submarine, has reached “pressure hull complete,” signifying that all of its hull sections are joined to form a single, watertight unit. (Photo by Chris Oxley)

Indiana (SSN 789), the 16th Virginia-class submarine, has reached “pressure hull complete,” signifying that all of its hull sections are joined to form a single, watertight unit. (Photo by Chris Oxley)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The 16th Virginia-class submarine Indiana (SSN 789) has reached “pressure hull complete,” according to the Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

All of the submarine’s hull sections are now joined to form a single, watertight unit.

The ship’s Sponsor Diane Donald, wife of Adm. Kirk Donald (U.S. Navy, Ret.), and Ray Shearer, chairman of Indiana’s commissioning committee, visited the shipyard to see the progress being made on the submarine and meet with its crew.

“Witnessing Indiana come to life is one of the most gratifying experiences of my life,” Mrs. Donald said. “The countless hours of hard work the shipbuilders have put into constructing and perfecting this boat is apparent, as Indiana has now taken on the shape of a submarine. I also had the pleasure of spending time with the ship’s crew. As the wife of a submariner, it’s been a real honor getting to know a new generation of sailors and witnessing their enthusiasm and dedicated service to our nation. As Indiana moves closer to joining the Navy’s fleet next year, I look forward to continuing to share this journey with her shipbuilders and crew members.”

Pressure hull completion is the last major milestone before the submarine’s christening.

Construction began in September 2012 under a teaming agreement between Newport News and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The submarine is about 82 percent complete and is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in the fall of 2017.

More submarine news:

New Navy sub will be named USS Arkansas

Navy christened submarine Washington

Watch: Future USS John Warner launched into the James River