Delaware (SSN 791), which successfully completed sea trials earlier this month, is the ninth Virginia-class submarine to be delivered by Newport News and the 18th built as part of the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat.
“Like the last two submarines we delivered to the Navy, Delaware has received some of the highest quality scores since the Virginia-class program began. Our team of shipbuilders continues to perform at a high level, and nothing makes us prouder than delivering one of the most mission-ready submarines to the fleet.”
Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction
The submarine is the second ship to be named for the country’s first state, the first being the dreadnought battleship USS Delaware (BB 28), which was delivered by Newport News in 1910.
More than 10,000 shipbuilders from Newport News and Electric Boat have participated in Delaware’s construction since the work began in September 2013. The submarine was christened by Jill Biden, the former Second Lady of the United States and the ship’s sponsor, during a ceremony in October 2018.
The future USS Delaware (SSN 791) will be commissioned next year.
Virginia-class Block III SSN
Delaware (SSN 791) is the last and final of eight Block III Virginia-class submarines. The Block III submarines are fitted with the new Virginia Payload Tubes designed to lower costs and increase missile-firing payload possibilities. The first 10 Block I and Block II Virginia-class submarines have 12 individual 21-inch diameter vertical launch tubes able to fire Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMS). The Block III submarines are built with two-larger 87-inch diameter tubes able to house six TLAMS each.
The next Virginia-class submarine, Vermont (SSN 792), will be a Block IV boat. The main improvement over the Block III is the reduction of major maintenance periods from four to three, increasing each ship’s total lifetime deployments by one.