Pressure Hull Complete

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on August 9 that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has reached a major milestone in the construction of the submarine USS 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.

USS 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)
USS 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)

Ship’s Sponsor Diane Donald, wife of Admiral 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 complete 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 third quarter of 2017.

«We are on track to meet our budget and schedule commitments to the Navy, and I’m proud of the progress that the Newport News Shipbuilding-General Dynamics Electric Boat team is making», said Jim Hughes, Newport News’ vice president, submarines and fleet support. «Our progress demonstrates the efficiency of the Navy’s two-per-year build plan, which helps ensure America’s undersea superiority».

Commander Jesse J. Zimbauer, Indiana’s commanding officer, said, «Newport News Shipbuilding has completed the pressure hull on time for the Indiana, continuing the momentum of the Navy’s most successful build program and moving us another step closer to taking our submarine to sea».

Virginia-class submarine USS Illinois (SSN-786) (GD Electric Boat Photo)
Virginia-class submarine USS Illinois (SSN-786) (GD Electric Boat Photo)


General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.06 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.36 m
Displacement Approximately 7,835 tons/7,961 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles 12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories


Nuclear Submarine Lineup


Block I

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-774 Virginia EB 8-16-03 10-23-04 Portsmouth, New Hampshire
SSN-775 Texas NNS 7-31-05 9-9-06 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-776 Hawaii EB 6-19-06 5-5-07 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina NNS 4-21-07 5-3-08 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

SSN – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered


Block II

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-778 New Hampshire EB 6-21-08 10-25-08 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-779 New Mexico NNS 12-13-08 11-21-09 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-780 Missouri EB 12-5-09 7-31-10 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-781 California NNS 11-6-10 10-29-11 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-782 Mississippi EB 12-3-11 6-2-12 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-783 Minnesota NNS 10-27-12 9-7-13 Norfolk, Virginia


Block III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB Under Construction
SSN-789 Indiana NNS Under Construction
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction


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