NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from November 2021.
After years of construction, the Virginia-class submarine New Jersey launched into the James River from Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced Thursday.
The 7,800-ton submarine was submerged and moved by tugboats to the shipyard’s submarine pier for final outfitting, testing and crew certification. Before that, it had been in a floating dry dock since being transferred from a construction facility in March.
Around 10,000 shipbuilders and suppliers from all 50 states have worked on the construction of the New Jersey. According to HII, the submarine is around 92% complete.
“Achieving this construction milestone is a very rewarding event to our shipbuilding team,” Jason Ward, Newport News’ vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction, said in a press release.
The Virginia-class, comprised of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, incorporated new technologies and innovations to increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth.
HII said they can support multiple mission areas and operate at speeds of more than 25 knots for months at a time.
Ward said the New Jersey will undergo a waterborne test program and work toward sea trials before delivering to the Navy.