Tag Archives: Virginia-class

16th Virginia submarine

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division on June 25, 2018 delivered the newest nuclear-powered fast attack submarine to the U.S. Navy.

USS Indiana (SSN-789) was delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding on June 25. Pictured during sea trials in May, the newest Virginia-class submarine will be commissioned later this year (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
USS Indiana (SSN-789) was delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding on June 25. Pictured during sea trials in May, the newest Virginia-class submarine will be commissioned later this year (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

The future USS Indiana (SSN-789) is the 16th Virginia-class submarine built as part of the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat and the eighth delivered by Newport News.

«We are proud to deliver Indiana to the Navy», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «For the nearly 4,000 shipbuilders who participated in construction of the boat, there is nothing more important than knowing that this vessel will support the Navy’s missions».

Indiana, which began construction in September 2012, successfully completed sea trials earlier this month. The vessel will be commissioned later this year.

Virginia-class submarines are built for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions to replace the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines as they are retired. Virginia-class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These submarines are capable of supporting multiple mission areas and can operate at submerged speeds of more than 25 knots/28 mph/46.3 km/h for months at a time.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Integrated Missions Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 39,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

 

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 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 10-29-16 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16 03-17-18
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Initial Sea Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has successfully completed the initial sea trials on the newest Virginia-class submarine, USS Indiana (SSN-789).

The Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) transits the Chesapeake Bay during its first set of sea trials, referred to as alpha trials (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) transits the Chesapeake Bay during its first set of sea trials, referred to as alpha trials (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

The initial round of sea trials, known as alpha trials, provides an opportunity to test all systems and components. It includes submerging for the first time and high-speed maneuvers while on the surface and submerged.

«Sea trials is a significant milestone and the first major test of submarine’s capabilities at sea», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «We are pleased with how Indiana performed and look forward to continuing our testing program before we deliver the boat to the U.S. Navy later this year».

Construction of Indiana began in 2012. The boat – the 16th Virginia-class submarine built as part of the teaming partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat – was christened in April 2017.

The submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) departs for its first set of sea trials with two HII-built aircraft carriers visible in the distance at Norfolk Naval Station (Photo by John Whalen/HII)
The submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) departs for its first set of sea trials with two HII-built aircraft carriers visible in the distance at Norfolk Naval Station (Photo by John Whalen/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 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 10-29-16 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16 03-17-18
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

U.S. Navy Virginia class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) completes first sea trials

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

 

Keel laying ceremony

The U.S. Navy held a keel laying ceremony for the Virginia-class submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795) at General Dynamics Electric Boat, May 11.

U.S. Navy & GDEB Laid Keel of Future USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)
U.S. Navy & GDEB Laid Keel of Future USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)

The initials of the submarine’s sponsor, Darleen Greenert, were welded onto a steel plate that will be permanently affixed to the submarine. She is the wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert (retired).

Admiral Frank Caldwell, Jr., director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, stated, «Admiral Rickover’s gift to our Nation’s defense – safe, reliable, and militarily superior naval nuclear propulsion – is as vital to our warfighting edge today as it was at the beginning of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program 70 years ago. The U.S. Navy and our nation are proud to honor his achievements and legacy with this submarine».

The submarine began construction on September 30, 2015 and is on track to continue the Virginia-class program’s trend of delivering quality submarines within budget and ready for tasking by the fleet.

This will be the second submarine to be named after Admiral Hyman G. Rickover to honor the pioneer of the nuclear navy. The first submarine named for the admiral was the Los Angeles-Class submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), which served from 1984 to 2006.

Admiral Rickover served for 63 years on active duty service, making him the longest serving member of the U.S. armed forces in history. In the late 1940’s, Admiral Rickover was made director of the Naval Reactors Branch of the Bureau of Ships and he subsequently led the efforts to develop what would become the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. Admiral Rickover also established and enforced strict safety standards, leading to the U.S. Navy’s safety record of over 162,000,000 miles safely steamed on nuclear power.

Other Virginia-class milestones this year include the commissioning of the USS Indiana (SSN-789) and the combined keel laying and christening of USS Vermont (SSN-792), both currently projected to occur in the fall.

This next-generation attack submarine provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities-sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Badge of the future Virginia-Class submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)
Badge of the future Virginia-Class submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)

 

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 On Order
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

 

Terra Marique Indomita

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest fast attack submarine, the future USS Colorado (SSN-788), during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, March 17, at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

Navy commissioned submarine Colorado
Navy commissioned submarine Colorado

The principal speaker was U.S. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado. Annie Mabus, daughter of 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

«USS Colorado is a true marvel of technology and innovation, and it shows the capability that our industrial partners bring to the fight», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Richard V. Spencer. «Today’s world requires undersea platforms designed for dominance across a broad spectrum of regional and littoral missions, and I am confident Colorado will proudly serve in defense of our nation’s interests for decades to come».

The future Colorado, which began construction in 2012, is the 15th Virginia-class fast attack submarine and the fifth Virginia-class Block III submarine. Colorado will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with a name honoring the state of Colorado. The first Colorado was a three-masted steam screw frigate that participated in the Union Navy’s Gulf Blockading Squadron and fought in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher with then-Lt. George Dewey serving as her executive officer. In the early years of the 20th century, the second Colorado (ACR-7) was a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser that escorted convoys of men and supplies to England during World War I. The third ship of her name, the lead ship of the Colorado class of battleships (BB-45), supported operations in the Pacific theater throughout World War II, surviving two kamikaze attacks and earning seven battle stars.

This next-generation attack submarine provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century. Block III Virginia-class submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities-sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Nuclear attack boat USS Colorado (SSN-788) sits pierside on March 17, 2018 (U.S. Navy Photo)
Nuclear attack boat USS Colorado (SSN-788) sits pierside on March 17, 2018 (U.S. Navy 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 7,800 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 2 × 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)
USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commanding Officer, Commander Reed Koepp (left) and Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Stephen Col stand in the boat’s sail on January 12, 2018 (U.S. Navy Photo)
USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commanding Officer, Commander Reed Koepp (left) and Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Stephen Col stand in the boat’s sail on January 12, 2018 (U.S. Navy Photo)

 

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 10-29-16 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16 03-17-18
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Contract Announcement

General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut, is being awarded a $696,246,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-2100 for additional long lead time material associated with the fiscal 2019 Virginia-class submarines (SSNs 802 and 803); and the fiscal 2020 Virginia-class submarines (SSNs 804 and 805).

GD Wins $696M for Virginia-class SSNs
GD Wins $696M for Virginia-class SSNs

This contract provides long lead time material for steam and electric plant components; the main propulsion unit efforts and ship service turbine generator efforts; and miscellaneous hull, mechanical and electrical system components to support SSNs 802, 803, 804 and 805 ship construction commencing in fiscal 2019.

Work will be performed in:

  • Sunnyvale, California (35 percent);
  • Newport News, Virginia (5 percent);
  • Quonset Point, Rhode Island (5 percent);
  • Depew, New York (3 percent);
  • Stoughton, Massachusetts (3 percent);
  • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (3 percent);
  • Florence, New Jersey (3 percent);
  • Windsor Locks, Connecticut (3 percent);
  • Mount Vernon, Indiana (2 percent);
  • Cajon, California (2 percent);
  • Cheswick, Pennsylvania (2 percent);
  • Arvada, Colorado (2 percent);
  • Coatesville, Pennsylvania (2 percent);
  • York, Pennsylvania (1 percent);
  • Mossville, Illinois (1 percent);
  • Spring Grove, Illinois (1 percent);
  • Linden, New Jersey (1 percent);
  • Jacksonville, Florida (1 percent);
  • Tucson, Arizona (1 percent);
  • Tacoma, Washington (1 percent);
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1 percent);
  • Charleston, South Carolina (1 percent);
  • Orrville, Ohio (1 percent);
  • Louisville, Kentucky (1 percent);
  • Tempe, Arizona (1 percent);
  • Westfield, Massachusetts (1 percent);
  • Manassas, Virginia (1 percent);
  • South El Monte, California (1 percent);
  • Pewaukee, Wisconsin (1 percent);
  • Loanhead, United Kingdom (1 percent);

and other efforts performed at various sites throughout the U.S. (13 percent), and is expected to be completed by January 2019.

Fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $696,246,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

Christening of Dakota

The U.S. Navy christened its newest attack submarine, the future USS South Dakota (SSN-790), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, October 14, at General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

Ship sponsor, Deanie Dempsey, christens the USS South Dakota
Ship sponsor, Deanie Dempsey, christens the USS South Dakota

Governor of South Dakota Dennis Daugaard delivered the ceremony’s principal address. The submarine’s sponsor is Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, wife of the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. The ceremony was highlighted by Mrs. Dempsey breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored U.S. Navy tradition.

«Today’s christening of South Dakota brings this submarine one step closer to joining our strong fleet», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «For decades to come, this boat and the Sailors who will serve on it will stand as a tribute to the patriotic people of South Dakota and a testament to the value of the partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industry teammates».

USS South Dakota, a Virginia-class submarine designated SSN-790, is the third ship to bear the state’s name. The second ship was a battleship that stood as the lead ship of her class and earned 13 battle stars during her extensive service in the Pacific theater during World War II.

USS South Dakota (SSN-790) is the 17th Virginia-class attack submarine and the seventh Virginia-class Block III submarine. The ship began construction in 2013 and is contracted to deliver in August 2018. USS South Dakota (SSN-790) will provide the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

Block III Virginia-class submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.

The USS South Dakota crew poses at the site of SSN 790’s construction in Groton, Connecticut
The USS South Dakota crew poses at the site of SSN 790’s construction in Groton, Connecticut

 

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 7,800 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 2 × 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)
The official crest for the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) includes a wide variety of imagery representing South Dakota and its history
The official crest for the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) includes a wide variety of imagery representing South Dakota and its history

 

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 10-29-16 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB 10-14-17
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Preserving Peace,
Prepared for War

The U.S. Navy with assistance from the submarine’s sponsor Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, commissioned and brought to life the newest Virginia class submarine, USS Washington (SSN-787), during a ceremony on board Naval Station Norfolk, October 7.

USS Washington Brought to Life, Commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk
USS Washington Brought to Life, Commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk

Washington, named in honor of the 42nd state, is the 14th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine to join the U.S. Navy’s operational fleet. Elisabeth Mabus expressed how proud she was of the crew and their families.

«I know, though you are all eager to set out on the Washington, this like all naval service will requires you to be away from your families for long stretches, so thank you to the families», said Mabus. «In a very real sense you are plank owners of this ship as well».

Mabus gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life» before the crew of about 130 men ran across the brow, onto the vessel.

Washington is the fourth of eight Block III Virginia-class submarines to be built. The Block III submarines are built with new Virginia Payload Tubes (VPT) designed to lower costs and increase missile-firing payload possibilities. The first 10 Block I and Block II Virginia class submarines have 12 individual 21-inch/53.34 cm diameter vertical launch tubes able to fire Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMS). The Block III submarines are built with two-larger 87-inch/2.2 m diameter tubes able to house six TLAMS each.

«We won’t know what challenges we will face as a nation in 10, 15 or 20 years, but we know because of the work being done now at Newport News and Electric Boat and by the Sailors who call this ship home, USS Washington will be prepared for whatever is to come», said Mabus.

USS Washington (SSN-787) commanding officer, Commander Gabriel Cavazos, highlighted the Washington’s capability to dominate the undersea domain and enable military success in any engagement.

«As I have told the crew on many occasions, they are the most important component of the ship. They give the ship its personality and warfighting spirit. Without the crew, Washington would not be the warfighting platform she was built to be; however, combine the two, and, together, we are the Blackfish», said Cavazos.

«Today USS Washington is alive and stands ready for mission. Thank you for being here to celebrate this momentous occasion with us», said Cavazos.

Washington is the fourth U.S. Navy ship, and first submarine, to be named honoring the State of Washington. The previous three ships were an armored cruiser, (ACR-11), which served from 1905 to 1916, the battleship (BB-47) a Colorado-class battleship launched in 1921 and sunk as a gunnery target in 1924 after her construction was halted, and the battleship (BB-56) credited with sinking more enemy tonnage than any other U.S. Navy battleship during World War II, serving from 1941 to 1947.

USS Washington (SSN-787) is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW); delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR); and mine warfare. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities: sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.

The submarine is 377 feet/114.8 m long, has a 34-foot/10.36 m beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800+ feet/244+ m and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h submerged. It will operate for over 30 years without ever refueling.

Construction on Washington began September 2011; the submarine’s keel was authenticated during a ceremony on November 22, 2014; and the submarine was christened during a ceremony March 5, 2016.

The submarine's sponsor was Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus
The submarine’s sponsor was Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus

 

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 2 × 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)
USS Washington is the U.S. Navy’s 14th Virginia-Class attack submarine and the third commissioned Navy ship named for the State of Washington (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey M. Richardson/Released)
USS Washington is the U.S. Navy’s 14th Virginia-Class attack submarine and the third commissioned Navy ship named for the State of Washington (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey M. Richardson/Released)

 

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 10-29-16 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17  Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Pre-Commissioning Unit Washington (SSN-787) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk after completing sea trials. Washington is scheduled to be commissioned October 7, 2017 at Naval Station Norfolk

Navy Accepts Colorado

The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Colorado (SSN-788), the 15th submarine of the Virginia-class, September 21.

Navy Accepts Delivery of the Future USS Colorado (SSN-788)
Navy Accepts Delivery of the Future USS Colorado (SSN-788)

The submarine’s sponsor is Annie Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

The ship began construction in 2012 and is scheduled to commission in spring 2018. This next-generation attack submarine provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority.

«Colorado’s delivery brings another Block III Virginia-class submarine to the fleet within budget. The submarine’s outstanding quality continues the Program’s tradition of delivering combat ready submarines to the fleet», said Captain Mike Stevens, Virginia-class submarine program manager. «The Colorado is the most capable Virginia-class submarine bringing advanced capabilities and technology to the Navy fleet».

USS Colorado (SSN-788) is the fifth Virginia-class Block III submarine. Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow with enhanced payload capabilities, replacing 12 individual vertical launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPT), each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. This, among other design changes, reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

The submarine will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with the name Colorado. The first Colorado was a three-masted steam screw frigate that participated in the Union Navy’s Gulf Blockading Squadron that fought in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher with then-Lt. George Dewey serving as her executive officer. In the early years of the 20th Century, the second Colorado (ACR-7) was a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser that escorted convoys of men and supplies to England during World War I. The third ship of her name, the lead ship of the Colorado class of battleships (BB-45), supported operations in the Pacific theater throughout World War II, surviving two kamikaze attacks and earning seven battle stars.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

 

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 2 × 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)

 

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 10-29-16 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Alpha sea trials

The nation’s newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, USS Colorado (SSN-788), returned to the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard Monday, August 21, following the successful completion of its first voyage in open seas, called alpha sea trials. Colorado is the 15th ship of the Virginia Class, the most capable class of attack submarines ever built. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (GD).

Submarine Colorado completes first voyage
Submarine Colorado completes first voyage

Colorado’s alpha sea trials included a range of submarine and propulsion-plant operations, submerging for the first time, and high-speed runs on and below the surface to demonstrate that the ship’s propulsion plant is fully mission-capable.

The sea trials were directed by U.S. Navy Admiral James F. Caldwell Jr., director – Naval Nuclear Propulsion. Also participating in the sea trials were Captain Jeffrey Heydon, supervisor of shipbuilding in Groton; and Jeffrey S. Geiger, president of Electric Boat. Colorado is commanded by Commander Ken Franklin.

«The crew and shipbuilders worked as one unit to take Colorado to sea and put it through its paces», said Electric Boat President Geiger. «This required an outstanding effort by everyone involved, and demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. Navy and industry team to sustain the success of the Virginia-class submarine program. I appreciate the contributions made by the U.S. Navy personnel, shipbuilders and suppliers who made it happen».

Electric Boat and its construction teammate, Newport News Shipbuilding, already have delivered 14 Virginia-class submarines to the U.S. Navy: USS Virginia (SSN-774), USS Texas (SSN-775), USS Hawaii (SSN-776), USS North Carolina (SSN-777), USS New Hampshire (SSN-778), USS New Mexico (SSN-779), USS Missouri (SSN-780), USS California (SSN-781), USS Mississippi (SSN-782), USS Minnesota (SSN-783), USS North Dakota (SSN-784), USS John Warner (SSN-785), USS Illinois (SSN-786) and Washington (SSN-787). Fourteen more submarines of the class are under contract.

Virginia-class submarines displace 7,835 long tons/7,961 metric tons submerged, with a hull length of 377 feet/114.9 m and a diameter of 34 feet/10.4 m. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25+ knots/29+ mph/46+ km/h and can dive to a depth greater than 800+ feet/244+ m, while carrying Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes and Tomahawk land-attack missiles.

Ship’s Crest
Ship’s Crest

 

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/114.9 m
Beam 33 feet/10 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.4 m
Displacement Approximately 7,835 long tons/7,961 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/29+ mph/46+ 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 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 10-29-16 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction