Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has launched the recently christened Virginia-class submarine USS Delaware (SSN-791) into the water for the first time at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.
During a three-day process that began last Wednesday, the 7,800-ton 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.
«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».
USS Delaware (SSN-791) 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. More than 10,000 shipbuilders from Newport News and Electric Boat have participated in Delaware’s construction since the work began in September 2013. 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.
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. Virginia-class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These 377-foot/114.8-meter long 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.
Following testing, USS Delaware (SSN-791) is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy next year.
Huntington Ingalls launches Virginia Class submarine Delaware
|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-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||Groton, Connecticut|
|SSN-789 Indiana||NNS||04-29-17||09-29-18||Groton, Connecticut|
|SSN-790 South Dakota||EB||10-14-17|