HII launches US Navy’s new Virginia-class submarine Montana

The US Navy’s Virginia-class fast-attack submarine Montana (SSN 794) has been launched into the James River at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division.

The 7,800-ton submarine, which had been in a floating dry dock since being transferred from a construction facility in October, was submerged on 3 March and moved by tugboats to the shipyard’s submarine pier, for final outfitting, testing and crew certification.

Photo: HII

“We look forward to executing our waterborne test program, and working toward sea trials and delivering the submarine to the Navy later this year,” Jason Ward, Newport News’ vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction, commented.

Christened at the shipyard in September 2020, the future USS Montana is the third of ten Block IV Virginia-class submarines. 

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Through the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat approximately 10,000 shipbuilders, as well as suppliers from all 50 states, have participated in Montana’s construction since the work began in 2015. 

Montana is approximately 92% complete and scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in late 2021, according to HII.

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 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 for months at a time.