The US Navy has received the delivery of the newest Virginia-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789).
Being the eighth Virginia-class vessel delivered to the navy by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division, SSN 789 is the 16th submarine of the class.
Slated to be commissioned with the US Navy in September, the vessel was constructed in 2012 under a partnership agreement between HII and General Dynamics Electric Boat.
Once in service, the future USS Indiana will provide the navy with the capabilities required to maintain the undersea superiority of the US.
The nuclear-powered submarine successfully concluded its sea trials earlier this month.
US Navy Virginia-class programme manager captain Christopher Hanson said: “Indiana’s delivery marks the culmination of millions of man-hours of work by thousands of people across this country to bring the world’s foremost undersea asset to the fleet.”
Indiana is the fourth ship named after the 19th US state and the sixth Virginia-class Block III submarine, which features a redesigned bow with increased payload capabilities.
The 377ft-long ship replaces 12 individual vertical-launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia payload tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The redesign features a large-aperture bow (LAB) water-backed array, which replaces the traditional air-backed spherical array.
With a submerged displacement of 7,800t, SSN 789 is capable of travelling at a submerged speed of more than 25k and at a greater depth than 800ft.
The Virginia-class ships are designed to operate in the littoral and deep waters across the world, while carrying out a wide range of missions such as anti-submarine, anti-surface ship and strike warfare, as well as special operations forces support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and mine warfare missions.