The US Navy has taken delivery of the newest Virginia-class nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine, the future USS Montana (SSN 794).

Montana, which is the third of ten Block IV configured submarines, is the second ship named in honour of the US state. It will serve the country for over 30 years.

In September 2020, USS Montana’s sponsor and US Department of Interior’s former secretary, Sally Jewell, christened the vessel at HII-NNS.

The delivery follows the successful completion of alpha sea trials last month.

Newport News Shipbuilding Virginia-class submarine construction vice-president Jason Ward said: “The results of the Navy’s board of inspection and survey during sea trials are a testament to our priorities of safety and quality.”

In 2015, through a teaming agreement, Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) and General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) started construction work on the future USS Montana.

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It marks the 10th Virginia-class submarine delivered by HII-NNS and 21st constructed under the teaming agreement with GDEB.

Virginia-class programme manager captain Todd Weeks said: “The delivery of this ship reflects an enormous effort across the navy and Industry shipbuilding teams. This is an exciting time for the programme, Montana’s crew, and the navy.

“This is the second Virginia-class submarine to deliver in less than a month and it is in excellent condition. Continued deliveries of attack submarines are critical to the fleet and our National Maritime Strategy.”

The 7,800t multi-mission submarine can perform a range of operations, including anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface ship warfare (ASuW), strike warfare intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), irregular warfare and mine warfare missions.