HII Delivers Latest Virginia Nuclear Submarine to US Navy

The US Navy has accepted its latest Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarine, the USS New Jersey (SSN 796), from HII subsidiary Newport News Shipbuilding.

SSN 796 is the 11th handed over by the company to the US Department of Defense’s Virginia program and the 23rd submarine developed under a teaming framework with General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The delivery followed trials last month, during which the vessel’s system and components were operated in sea surface and underwater conditions.

The submarine was christened in 2021 and first submerged in April 2022.

Upholding the ‘Highest Standards’

HII wrote that SSN 796 is the first Virginia ship designed and manufactured with crew gender integration.

Approximately 10,000 personnel from Newport News Shipbuilding and Electric Boat completed the submarine alongside thousands of others from the supply chain across the country and over 100 workers from New Jersey.

The US Navy is expected to commission the vehicle later this year.

USS New Jersey (SSN 796) Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine
USS New Jersey (SSN 796) Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine. Photo: HII

“It is a proud day for our entire team when we deliver a high-quality submarine like New Jersey to the fleet,” Newport News Shipbuilding Virginia Submarine Construction VP Jason Ward stated.

“The mission ahead for New Jersey and her crew is clear, and we applaud our shipbuilders for delivering this critical capability to the fleet, while maintaining our highest standards of safety and quality.”

The Virginia-Class Submarine Fleet

The Pentagon launched the Virginia submarine program to replace the US Navy’s aging Los Angeles-class fleet, in service since the 1970s.

The government plans to procure the new systems through 2043. The vessels are expected to operate from the 2060s through the 2070s.

A Virginia submarine is powered by a 280,000-horsepower nuclear reactor, steam turbines, and main and secondary propulsion.

The vehicle can reach depths up to 800 feet (240 meters), has a speed of 25 knots (46 kilometers/29 miles per hour), and has a flexible endurance operability subject to maintenance and supply requirements.

Depending on its configuration, a Virginia submarine can be armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and torpedoes.

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