HII lays keel for new U.S. Navy Virginia-class submarine

U.S. Navy’s next Virginia-class submarine, USS Delaware, was christened at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division.

During a ceremony held April 30, Jill Biden, the Second Lady of the United States and sponsor of the Virginia-class submarine Delaware (SSN 791), declared the keel “truly and fairly laid.”

Delaware is the final ship of the Block III submarines built under a unique teaming agreement between Newport News and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Construction on Delaware began in September 2013. The submarine is about 56 percent complete and is on track for delivery in 2018.

According to HII, more than 4,000 shipbuilders support the construction of Delaware. The submarine will be the newest Navy vessel named for the country’s first state, following the dreadnought battleship USS Delaware (BB 28) that was delivered by Newport News in 1910.