The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) in the US has delivered nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) back to the fleet following a two-year availability for maintenance works.

The Los Angeles-class submarine arrived at the shipyard along with her crew of 16 officers and 127 enlisted personnel on 15 August 2019.

Project superintendent Gabe Griego and the ship’s force worked together to complete the maintenance and modernisation of the submarine as well as to overcome other project challenges, such as the impact of the pandemic.

Griego said: “This was a challenging availability. The pandemic struck about six months after Santa Fe was put into Dry Dock #1.

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“In order to keep construction of the Dry Dock #1 super flood basin on schedule, Santa Fe had to undock on time. The project team, Ship’s Force, and PNS workforce showed up and worked together as a team to accomplish this goal, and continued their efforts to get us where we are today.”

Shipyard Commander Captain Michael Oberdorf said: “The Santa Fe team showed true grit and tenacity to reach the end game of this availability.

“The team worked tenaciously through sea trials and delivered Santa Fe back to the fleet knowing every submarine is vital to protecting US interests worldwide.”

Overall, 62 Los Angeles-class submarines were commissioned into the US Navy. Currently, 29 of them are still in service including one Moored Training Ship.

Two additional submarines are slated to be delivered from maintenance in upcoming weeks.

The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility will deliver another Los Angeles-class submarine USS Charlotte (SSN 766), while Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility is set to complete the overhaul of guided missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727).