The US Navy has christened two of its newest Virginia-class submarines built by General Dynamics and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII).

The future USS Vermont (SSN 792) has been christened at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, while USS Delaware (SSN 791) was christened at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.

Sponsored by former US Navy research, development and acquisition deputy assistant secretary Gloria Valdez, the submarine Vermont is the 19th ship of the Virginia-class and the first of ten Virginia-class Block IV submarines. Meanwhile, Delaware is the 18th submarine.

US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said: “The future USS Vermont honours the contributions and support that the state of Vermont has given to our navy and Marine Corps team throughout the years.

“Both vessels are expected to be delivered to the US Navy next year.”

“For decades to come, this boat and the sailors who will serve on it will stand as a tribute to the patriotic people of Vermont and a testament to the value of the partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industry teammates.”

Construction of Vermont began in May 2014, while that of Delaware began in September 2013. Both vessels are expected to be delivered to the US Navy next year.

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Built to operate in littoral and deep waters, the Virginia-class submarines can be deployed for warfare operations such as anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface ship, special operation forces support, as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

They can be engaged to support maritime strategy core capabilities, including sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Under a partnership deal, Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding share construction of the submarines.