The Navy accepted delivery of Washington (SSN 787), the 14th submarine of the Virginia-class, May 26.
Washington is the fourth of eight Virginia-class Block III submarines and the seventh of the class to be delivered to the Navy by Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. Washington began construction in September 2011 and will be commissioned later this year in Norfolk, Virginia. The submarine’s sponsor is Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
“Washington’s delivery continues our commitment to deliver Virginia-class submarines within budget and ready to deploy and execute Fleet tasking,” said Capt. Mike Stevens, Virginia-class Submarine Program Manager.”
Washington will be the third U.S. Navy ship, and first submarine, to be commissioned with a name honoring the State of Washington. The previous two ships were an armored cruiser, (ACR-11), which served under the name from 1905 to 1916, and a World War II battleship (BB-56), decommissioned in 1947.
Washington successfully completed the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) trials earlier this month receiving a score of 96 out of 100, the highest score to date on any new construction Virginia-class submarine. The INSURV board conducts acceptance trials of ships and service craft for the purpose of determining the quality of construction, compliance with specifications and Navy requirements.
Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. This, among other design changes, reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.
Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.