Huntington Ingalls Industries press release
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.
“Achieving this construction milestone is a very rewarding event to our shipbuilding team. Our shipbuilders and suppliers have dedicated years of hard work to this critical capability that will maintain our customer’s undersea superiority. We now look forward to executing our waterborne test program, and working toward sea trials so we can deliver to the Navy.”
Jason Ward, Vice President of Virginia-class submarine construction at Huntington Ingalls
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.
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.
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) – Launched April 28, 2023
- 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