The US Navy's Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN-780) has successfully completed post-shakedown availability (PSA) sea trials and extended modernisation ahead of schedule.
Submarine Squadron 4 commander captain Michael Bernacchi said that the submarine completion was in line with the Design for Undersea Warfare, which was published in 2011 and has saved the navy about $1m. The Missouri is scheduled to take charge of operations from a sister ship, allowing the Submarine Force to give almost ten additional months of Surge ready and Ready for Tasking time back to the fleet, Bernacchi added.
Submarines programme executive officer rear admiral David Johnson said: "Missouri is ready to execute important national security missions that leverage Virginia-class submarine capabilities."
Missouri is designed for missions such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. The 377ft-long, 34ft-wide submarine has a submerged displacement capacity of 7,835t, can remain submerged at depths greater than 800ft, can accommodate a crew of 134 and is capable of cruising at speeds in excess of 25 knots.
The vessel, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment such as sonar, combat control, imaging systems, computers and weapons, displays five of the six navy maritime strategy core capabilities, which include sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. USS Missouri is also capable of performing cruise missile strike operations as well as special operation forces in both littoral regions and deep waters.
Electric Boat, together with Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, has received contracts to produce a total of 18 Virginia-class submarines as part of a planned 30-ship deal between the two shipyards.