Tag Archives: Virginia-class submarine (VCS)

Initial Sea Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that the newest Virginia-class submarine (VCS), USS Washington (SSN-787), successfully completed its initial sea trials on Sunday. Sea trials test the submarine’s capabilities at sea. Washington was built as part of a teaming agreement between HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) successfully completed its initial sea trials on Sunday, April 2, 2017 (Photo by Ashley Major/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) successfully completed its initial sea trials on Sunday, April 2, 2017 (Photo by Ashley Major/HII)

«The ship and its crew performed exceptionally well», said Matt Needy, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. «It was truly an amazing process to see the hundreds of suppliers and the many thousands of shipbuilders from both Newport News and Electric Boat work closely with the ship’s crew to bring this great warship to life».

All systems, components and compartments were tested during the trials. The submarine submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and underwater. Washington will undergo a round of acceptance trials before delivery to the Navy by Newport News.

Construction of Washington, which began in September 2011, marked the beginning of the VCS program’s two-submarines-per-year build plan for Newport News.


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


The Virginia-class submarine USS Washington (SSN-787) completed the initial sea trials in March 2017