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).
«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.
|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
|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|