Huntington Ingalls Industries press release
Montana (SSN 794), which successfully completed sea trials last month, is the 10th Virginia-class submarine to be delivered by HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division and the 21st built as part of the teaming agreement with General Dynamics’ Electric Boat.
“We continue to be proud of our partnership with the U.S. Navy in delivering the most advanced ships in the world to our warfighters. The results of the Navy’s board of inspection and survey during sea trials are a testament to our priorities of safety and quality. We are proud of our team of shipbuilders for delivering these critical capabilities to the Navy and the nation.”
Jason Ward, Newport News Shipbuilding Vice President of Virginia submarine construction
More than 10,000 shipbuilders from Newport News Shipbuilding and Electric Boat have participated in Montana’s construction since the work began in May 2015. The submarine was christened by the ship’s sponsor, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, during a ceremony in September 2020.
Montana is the third of the 10-ship group of Virginia-class submarines known as Block IV. Block IV submarines incorporate design changes focused on reduced total ownership cost. By making smaller-scale design changes, the Navy will increase the length of time between maintenance stops and increase the number of deployments.
About Virginia-class Block I II III IV & V SSN
Block IV submarines (SSNs 792 to 801) incorporate design changes focused on reduced total ownership cost (RTOC). By making these smaller-scale design changes to increase the component-level lifecycle of the submarine, the U.S. Navy will increase the periodicity between depot maintenance availabilities and increase the number of deployments.
USS Delaware (SSN 791), the last and final of eight Block III Virginia-class submarines, was commissioned in April 2020. Delaware’s keel was laid April 30, 2016, and was christened during a ceremony on Oct. 20, 2018.
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.
Blocks I-III Virginias are planned to undergo four depot maintenance availabilities and conduct 14 deployments. Block IV RTOC efforts are intended to reduce planned availabilities by one to three and increase deployments to 15. The U.S. Navy refers to this as 3:15.
Block IV will be followed by the Block V configuration which involves 10 boats and may incorporate the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), which would give guided-missile capability when the SSGNs are retired from service. On 2 December 2019, the U.S. Navy announced an order for nine new Virginia-class submarines – eight Block Vs and one Block IV – for a total contract price of $22 billion with an option for a tenth boat. The Block V subs were confirmed to have an increased length, from 377 ft to 460 ft, and displacement, from 7,800 tons to 10,200 tons.
Submarines in Block IV configuration :
- Vermont (SSN 792) – Commissioned 18 April 2020
- Oregon (SSN 793) – Delivered to the U.S. Navy Februrary 26, 2022
- Montana (SSN 794) – Delivered to the U.S. Navy March 14, 2022
- Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) – Christened in July 31, 2021
- New Jersey (SSN 796) – Christened began November 13, 2021
- Iowa (SSN 797) – Keel laid August 20, 2019
- Massachusetts (SSN 798) – Keel laid December 11, 2020
- Idaho (SSN 799) – Keel laid 24 August 24, 2020
- Arkansas (SSN 800) – Construction began March 2018
- Utah (SSN 801) – Construction began March 2018