NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A new Virginia-class submarine entered the water for the first time, Huntington Ingalls Industries announced Monday.
The recently christened Virginia-class submarine Delaware (SSN 791) is 7,800-tons!
The submarine was moved out of a construction facility and into a floating dry dock using a transfer car system. The floating dry dock was submerged and the submarine was launched into the James River. Once in the water, the boat then was moved to the shipyard’s submarine pier for final outfitting, testing and crew certification, Huntington Ingalls Industries said.
“Successfully launching Delaware into the water the first time is a proud moment for the Virginia-class submarine team and the thousands of dedicated shipbuilders involved in constructing the ship,” said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. “With this significant key event behind us, we look forward to completing construction and sea trials next year so this great warship can join the fleet and defend our nation.”
Delaware is the 18th Virginia-class submarine built as part of the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat and the ninth to be delivered by Newport News.
The submarine was christened by Jill Biden, the former Second Lady of the United States and the ship’s sponsor, during a ceremony in October.
She christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow and stating, “In the name of the United States, I christen thee,” following Navy tradition.
Virginia-class submarines, a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, are built for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions to replace the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines. They incorporate new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These 377-foot long submarines are capable of supporting multiple mission areas and can operate at submerged speeds of more than 25 knots for months at a time, Huntington Ingalls Industries said.
Following testing, Delaware is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2019.
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