Virginia-class submarine Indiana (SSN 789) completes first sea trials

The submarine Indiana departs for its first set of sea trials with two aircraft carriers visible in the distance at Norfolk Naval Station. Photo: John Whalen/HII

US Navy Virginia-class submarine Indiana (SSN 789) has completed initial sea trials, submarine builder Huntington Ingalls Industries announced.

The initial round of sea trials, known as alpha trials, provides an opportunity to test all systems and components. It includes submerging for the first time and high-speed maneuvers while on the surface and submerged.

“Sea trials is a significant milestone and the first major test of submarine’s capabilities at sea,” said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. “We are pleased with how Indiana performed and look forward to continuing our testing program before we deliver the boat to the US Navy later this year.”

Indiana (SSN 789) is the 16th Virginia-class fast attack submarine and the sixth Virginia-class Block III submarine.

Missiles on Block III submarines are launched from two tubes with twelve missiles instead of twelve separate missile tubes their sister ships had. This is a feature borrowed from the Ohio-class SSGNs.

Block III submarines from boat eleven onward also feature a revised bow and a number of other changes.

Indiana began construction in 2012 and is the third US Navy ship to be christened with the name Indiana.

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