General Dynamics (GD) wholly owned subsidiary Electric Boat has delivered a Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine to the US Navy.

The future USS Colorado (SSN 788) is the 15th vessel of the Virginia-class designed to provide the navy with the capabilities required to retain undersea dominance in the 21st century.

The vessel is also the fifth of the eight-ship group of the class of submarines known as Block III.

The Block III submarines help reduce costs while enhancing capabilities through an initiative that comprises a multi-year procurement strategy, improvements in construction practices, and the Design For Affordability (DFA) programme.

Electric Boat president Jeffrey S Geiger said: “This delivery demonstrates the skill and commitment of everyone involved in the Virginia-class submarine programme.

“Delivering Colorado is a significant achievement that helps the navy meet its shipbuilding goals and ensures our continuing success as a business.”

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With a displacement of 7,835t, the US Navy’s Virginia-class vessels have a hull length of 377ft and a diameter of 34ft. They can cruise at speeds of more than 25k and dive to a depth greater than 800ft.

The vessels can also carry Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

In August, SSN 788 returned to the GD Electric Boat shipyard after successfully completing its first voyage during the alpha sea trials.

The tests required a wide range of submarine and propulsion-plant operations to submerge for the first time. High-speed runs were carried out on and below the surface to demonstrate the full mission-capability of the vessel’s propulsion plant.