The US Navy has commissioned its 20th Virginia-class Block IV nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine, USS Oregon (SSN 793).

The submarine was commissioned during a traditional ceremony held at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, on 28 May.

It was the first in-person submarine commissioning ceremony since 2019.

During the ceremony, the ship’s sponsor, Dana L Richardson, wife of former Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson, gave traditional orders to the ship’s crew.

After receiving the order to ‘man our ship and bring her to life’, sailors of the Oregon ceremonially ran aboard the vessel.

In October 2019, the US Navy christened SSN 793 at General Dynamics Electric Boat’s (GDEB) shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

The newly commissioned submarine is the US Navy’s third warship named Oregon.

Naval Nuclear Propulsion Programme director Admiral Frank Caldwell said: “Oregon and the other Virginia-class submarines will not only sustain but exploit our edge in undersea warfare.

“Soon, Oregon will employ her stealth, her flexibility, her superior firepower and her endurance to travel silently throughout the world’s oceans undetected, collecting intelligence, preparing for battle and – if necessary – striking from the deep swiftly without warning to answer the nation’s call.”

The second Block IV submarine in the Virginia-class fleet is 377ft long and has a beam of 34ft.

It can accommodate approximately 140 personnel and operate at a maximum speed of 25k.

The Block I to III submarines are scheduled to perform 14 deployments and four depot maintenance availabilities.

The new Block IV submarines incorporate small-scale design changes to increase submarine lifecycle and reduce ownership costs.

The changes will allow the US Navy to increase the deployments to 15 and reduce scheduled availabilities to three.