HII announced the completion of initial sea trials for the Virginia-class attack submarine New Jersey (SSN 796).

Conducted by the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, during several days at sea, New Jersey underwent testing of its systems and components, including its maiden submersion and execution of high-speed manoeuvres both on the surface and submerged.

Jason Ward, NNS vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction, emphasised the significance of this achievement, stating, “Taking New Jersey out for the first time is a significant milestone and the first major test of the submarine’s capabilities at sea. Both New Jersey and her crew performed exceptionally well.”

The successful completion of sea trials marks the first step towards incorporating gender-inclusive submarine designs. New Jerseykeel authenticated in 2019, christened in 2021 and launched in 2022, is poised to become the 11th submarine delivered by NNS and the 23rd in the Virginia-class fleet. Notably, it has submarine design modifications for gender integration.

Having a robust capability for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), Virginia-class vessels are also equipped with specialised weapons, sensors, and other equipment that enable them to perform land attacks, gather intelligence, conduct mine reconnaissance, and support special forces, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Submarine Market 2023-2033” report.

The collaboration between shipbuilders, suppliers nationwide, and the submarine’s crew reveals a unified effort to improve maritime technology. As New Jersey prepares to enter into service with the US Navy, it is set to have an impact on operational capability and its approach to gender equality in naval operations.

With the delivery of New Jersey on the horizon, HII reaffirms its dedication to fostering an environment of diversity and equality within the maritime community. As the submarine prepares to embark on its service to the US, its journey represents a triumph of engineering and is a testament to the inclusive spirit driving progress within the defence industry.

HII predicts mid to long-term revenue growth of over 4% after achieving record revenues of $11.5bn in 2023, with new contract awards of $12.5bn contributing to a backlog of $48.1bn. The company acknowledges challenges in the US naval industrial base, such as submarine construction delays, and has started work on a new campus in Norfolk, Virginia, to address storage space constraints.