The attack boat John Warner (SSN-785) successfully completed its first set of sea trials and its first dive on Saturday ahead of an anticipated June delivery to the U.S. Navy, shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries announced on Tuesday.
The alpha sea trials for the $2.6 billion Virginia-class attack submarine (SSN-774) — in which the boat dives for the first time — were conducted off of HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding facility in Virginia over the weekend.
“The sea trials were a huge success,” said Cmdr. Dan Caldwell, the submarine’s prospective commanding officer said in a statement from the company.
“The ship is in great material condition, and I could not be more proud of the way the crew performed. They have worked tirelessly for the last two years preparing to take this ship to sea, and it showed during sea trials. We look forward to completing the ship’s delivery and joining the operational fleet.”
The 7,800-ton submarine — named after former Secretary of the Navy and U.S. Senator John Warner — is the second Block III Virginia boat following the delivery of USS North Dakota (SSN-784) in August.
Warner is now 99 percent complete and is poised to deliver three months ahead of schedule, according to HII.
The eight planned Block III Virginias are an expression of the Navy’s desire to increase the efficiency in the submarine manufacturing process.
The boats include two Multiple All Up Round Canisters (MAC) fore of the boat’s sail that capable of fielding six land attack missiles apiece instead of the individual launch tubes in Blocks I and II.
The new boats also include a Large Aperture Bow (LAB) array sonar that requires less parts and maintenance.