Virginia-class submarine Delaware completes builder’s trials

The submarine Delaware returns to the Newport News Shipbuilding division following its first set of sea trials with three HII-built aircraft carriers visible in the distance at Norfolk Naval Station. Photo: Ashley Cowan/HII

The US Navy’s eighteenth Virginia-class submarine, Delaware (SSN 791), has returned to Newport News after completing the initial set of sea trials.

The submarine, in the final stages of construction, spent three days at sea proving all of its systems, components and compartments.

Delaware submerged for the first time and performed high-speed maneuvers on the surface and underwater.

“Delaware performed well during sea trials, which is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the incredible team of shipbuilders who are working to uphold our high standards of quality,” said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. “We look forward to continuing our testing program to deliver the submarine to the US Navy later this year.”

The final Block III submarine, featuring a redesigned bow with enhanced payload capabilities, is scheduled to undergo a round of acceptance trials before it is delivered.

More than 10,000 shipbuilders from Newport News and teaming partner General Dynamics Electric Boat have participated in Delaware’s construction since the work began in September 2013.

The boat was launched in December 2018 as the seventh US Navy ship to bear the name of “The First State.”

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