Photo: USS Indiana fast attack submarine achieves ‘pressure hull complete’

All hull sections of the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana have been joined to form a single, watertight unit meaning that the 16th submarine in the class is now ‘pressure hull complete’.

Pressure hull complete is the last major milestone before the submarine’s christening. Construction began in September 2012 under a teaming agreement between Newport News and General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The submarine is about 82 percent complete and is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in the third quarter of 2017.

Ship’s Sponsor Diane Donald, wife of Adm. Kirk Donald (U.S. Navy, Ret.), and Ray Shearer, chairman of Indiana’s commissioning committee, visited the shipyard to see the progress being made on the submarine and meet with its crew.

“We are on track to meet our budget and schedule commitments to the Navy, and I’m proud of the progress that the Newport News Shipbuilding-General Dynamics Electric Boat team is making,” said Jim Hughes, Newport News’ vice president, submarines and fleet support. “Our progress demonstrates the efficiency of the Navy’s two-per-year build plan, which helps ensure America’s undersea superiority.”

Cmdr. Jesse J. Zimbauer, Indiana’s commanding officer, said: “Newport News Shipbuilding has completed the pressure hull on time for the Indiana, continuing the momentum of the Navy’s most successful build program and moving us another step closer to taking our submarine to sea.”