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Submarine Montana launched into James River

The 7,800-ton Virginia-class submarine Montana is now ready for its final outfitting, testing and crew certification.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Editor's note: The video above is from October 2020.

It's another milestone for the future USS Montana submarine at Newport News Shipbuilding.

The 7,800-ton sub was launched into the James River on Wednesday, according to a Huntington Ingalls Industries news release.

The Montana was moved by tugboats to the shipyard's submarine pier so shipbuilders can test it and crew certification.

The submarine Montana had been in a floating dry dock since October. That three-day process began Oct. 3 when the submarine was raised off its keel blocks and transported to the floating dry dock.

The $2.7 billion future USS Montana fast attack submarine was christened on September 12, 2020, at Newport News Shipbuilding.

“For our shipbuilders, launching Montana signifies five years of hard work, commitment and dedicated service,” said Jason Ward, Newport News’ vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction. 

“We look forward to executing our waterborne test program, and working toward sea trials and delivering the submarine to the Navy later this year.”

The Virginia-class sub is a product of a unique partnership between Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. The two companies, working together, have so far delivered 18 of the vessels to the Navy since 2004.

When it's completed, the Montana will be the 21st of the Virginia-class and the 10th that will have been delivered by Newport News Shipbuilding.