Keel of Montana

On May 16, 2018, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division today authenticated the keel of the 21st Virginia-class submarine, USS Montana (SSN-794).

Jacob McNulty (far right) displays the keel authentication plate he welded at today’s ceremony. Also present for the ceremony were (left to right) Commander Mike Delaney, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit Montana; Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation; former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
Jacob McNulty (far right) displays the keel authentication plate he welded at today’s ceremony. Also present for the ceremony were (left to right) Commander Mike Delaney, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit Montana; Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation; former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

«This is an important day for us», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «Not only are we celebrating a milestone in the construction of Montana, we also are recognizing the hard work of the 4,000 shipbuilders who are supporting the construction of newest Virginia-class attack submarine».

In keeping with a U.S. Navy tradition, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor, chalked her initials onto a steel plate. Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, performed a Native American blessing.

«It’s a true honor to meet the commander, crew and shipbuilders who are hard at work shaping this amazing submarine to serve our nation», Jewell said. «We celebrate the tradition of the keel laying and look forward to blessing her, christening her and ensuring that the natural beauty, rich culture and spirit of the great state of Montana accompany the ship and crew throughout her lifetime».

Jacob McNulty, a welder at Newport News who was born in Montana, traced Jewell’s inscription on the plate, which signified that the keel of Montana is «truly and fairly laid». The steel plate will be permanently affixed to the submarine.

«The keel laying marks the first milestone for the crew in the construction process of Montana», said Commander Mike Delaney, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit. «We are excited to begin this journey and bring the Montana to life over the next few years».

Construction of Montana began in May 2015. The boat is approximately 46 percent complete and is expected to be delivered in late 2020. Two of its crew members hail from the state of Montana.

Jacob McNulty welds Sally Jewell’s initials onto the keel authentication plate of the submarine USS Montana (SSN-794) (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
Jacob McNulty welds Sally Jewell’s initials onto the keel authentication plate of the submarine USS Montana (SSN-794) (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

 

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/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 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 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 IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB Under Construction
SSN-793 Oregon EB Under Construction
SSN-794 Montana NNS Under Construction
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB Under Construction
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS On Order
SSN-797 Iowa EB On Order
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS On Order
SSN-799 Idaho EB On Order
SSN-800 Arkansas NNS On Order
SSN-801 Utah EB On Order

 

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