US naval shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) said that US Navy’s Virginia-class submarine New Jersey (SSN 796) was recently launched into the James River at the company’s 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 March, was submerged and moved by tugboats to the shipyard’s submarine pier for final outfitting, testing and crew certification.
“We now look forward to executing our waterborne test program, and working toward sea trials so we can deliver to the Navy,” Jason Ward, Newport News’ vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction.
Through the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat, approximately 10,000 shipbuilders, as well as suppliers from 50 states, have participated in New Jersey’s construction since the work began in 2016. New Jersey is approximately 92% complete, 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 to significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These submarines are capable of supporting multiple mission areas and can operate at speeds of more than 25 knots for months at a time.
Last month, HII delivered USS Montana (SSN 794), the third of ten Block IV Virginia-class submarines, to the US Navy.