The US Navy’s newest nuclear-powered Virginia-class submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789), has successfully completed its initial round of sea trials. The alpha trial programme provided the US Navy with an opportunity to test all systems and components onboard the vessel and was carried out by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division.
It involved submerging the submarine for the first time and conducting a series of high-speed manoeuvres, which were performed both on the surface and during submergence.
HII Newport News Shipbuilding Submarine Construction vice-president Dave Bolcar said: “Sea trials are a significant milestone and the first major test of submarine’s capabilities at sea.
“We are pleased with how Indiana performed and look forward to continuing our testing programme before we deliver the boat to the US Navy later this year.”
The future USS Indiana is the 16th Virginia-class fast-attack submarine and represents the sixth Virginia-class Block III vessel to enter service with the US Navy.
The keel-laying ceremony for the 377ft-long SSN 789 vessel was held on 16 May 2015 at Newport News Shipbuilding’s manufacturing facility in Newport News, Virginia.
Construction work on the submarine originally commenced in 2012 and the vessel was christened in April last year.
The submarine will be the third US Navy ship to bear the name Indiana upon commissioning.
SSN 789 features a displacement of 7,800t and can travel at a speed of more than 25k.
It is also capable of accommodating 134 officers and personnel on board.