NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- After four years of construction, the 7,800-ton Virginia-class submarine Indiana was launched into the James River on Friday.

The Indiana was being moved to the Newport News Shipbuilding's submarine pier for final outfitting, testing, and crew certification.

“Launch is a true testament to our shipbuilders’ roughly four years of hard work,” said Matt Needy, Newport News’ vice president of submarines and fleet support. “Over the next several months, we will work closely with the Indiana crew to bring this great ship to life."

Indiana is the 16th Virginia-class submarine and the eighth that will be delivered to the U.S. Navy by the shipyard.

Work on the submarine began in September of 2012, and almost 4,000 shipbuilders helped in its construction.

Indiana was moved out of a construction facility into a floating dry dock using a transfer car system. The floating dry dock was submerged, and the submarine was launched into river.

Virginia-class submarines are nuclear-powered and built for a broad spectrum of open-ocean missions. They will replace the Navy's Los Angeles- class submarines as they are retired.

The Indiana will be able to go 25 knots, fully submerged, for months at a time.