Virginia-Class Submarine Montana Completes First Sea Trials

The US Navy’s new Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarine Montana has completed its initial sea trials. The vessel’s propulsion plant was evaluated while performing high-speed maneuvers on the surface and underwater.

The trials also included submerging the 7,800-ton ship for the first time.

Builder of the submarine, Huntington Ingalls Industries, said that the testing program will continue until the boat is delivered to the navy later this year.

Nuclear-Powered Fast Attack Vessel

Christened in 2020, Montana is the second US Navy vessel bearing the state’s name and the first of the Virginia class. Construction began on the sub in 2015, and it was launched into the James River in March 2021.

The Virginia class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines has been developed for a wide range of open ocean and littoral missions to replace the Los Angeles-class vessels as they are retired.

The new class of warships incorporates multiple innovations and technologies that enhance firepower, maneuverability, and stealth.

“Taking the ship to sea for the first time is a huge milestone for everyone involved,” Jason Ward, Newport News Shipbuilding vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction, said in a statement.

“The crew, thousands of suppliers from around the country and shipbuilders from HII and Electric Boat can be proud the ship was successfully brought to life and will soon be part of the world’s greatest Navy,” he added. 

Since work began in 2015, around 10,000 shipbuilders and suppliers from all 50 states have participated in its construction.

About USS Montana

The USS Montana, after being deployed with the navy this year, will rank among the most technologically advanced submarines in the world. With the most advanced stealth capability, the warship will be capable of critical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations.

The nuclear-powered submarine is 377 feet (115 meters) long with a 34-foot (10.5-meter) beam and is designed to hunt and destroy missile submarines and surface ships.

The Virginia-class submersible can support multiple mission areas and operate at submerged speeds of more than 25 knots (46.3 kilometers per hour/ 28.76 miles per hour) for months at a stretch.

Long Service History

The first USS Montana, an armored cruiser, was commissioned by the navy in July 1908, which served in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. After being deployed during World War I, it was decommissioned in 1921.

Two battleships to be named Montana were subsequently canceled in 1922 and 1943.

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