The US Navy has held a commissioning commemoration for the Virginia-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine USS Vermont (SSN 792) at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

USS Vermont was administratively commissioned in April last year.

However, due to strict safety protocols associated with the ongoing pandemic during that time, a traditional commissioning ceremony was not held.

US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said: “Vermonters have served with valour from the highest mountains to the depths of the ocean.

“This vessel has already proven itself in service, not only because it was designed the right way, but because of the exemplary work of the men aboard.”

In October 2018, the submarine was christened at General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) in Groton.

It is the 19th vessel of the Virginia-class and the first of ten Block IV submarines. The construction of the vessel started in 2014.

The USS Delaware (SSN-791), which is the 18th and final Block III Virginia-class submarine, was commissioned on 4 April 2020.

Built to operate in littoral and deep waters, the Virginia-class submarines are designed for a range of open-ocean and littoral missions, including anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface ship, special operation forces support, and other warfare operations.

It can also be deployed for missions for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).

Block IV attack submarines feature reduced total ownership cost (RTOC) design changes to decrease the planned availabilities to three and increase deployments to 15.