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Attack Boat Illinois Delivers Early to Navy

Virginia-class submarine Illinois. GD Electric Boat Photo

Virginia-class submarine Illinois. GD Electric Boat Photo

The 13th Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine has delivered earlier than expected to the U.S. Navy, according to a Monday statement from Naval Sea Systems Command.

The $2.5 billion Illinois (SSN-786) was delivered to the service on Aug. 27 and is the ninth ship of the class to deliver to the service ahead of schedule, according to NAVSEA.

Illinois’ delivery continues the program’s success of delivering Virginia-class submarines ahead of schedule and within budget,” Capt. Michael J. Stevens, program manager said in a statement.
“Our plan is to have Illinois out on operations next year, going from construction start to mission- ready in just over six years.”

Last year, USS John Warner (SSN-785) delivered to the service three months early.

Illinois completed its first set of trials and its first dive early this month and its Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) trials on Aug. 21.

“During INSURV trials, the crew took the submarine to test depth and tested the submarine’s propulsion plant and material readiness,” read the statement from NAVSEA.
The 7,800 nuclear attack boat is the third of eight ships in the Block III Virginia builds created as a cost saver for the program.

The Block III boats feature a redesigned bow with a new water-backed Large Aperture Bow (LAB) sonar array and the addition of two Multiple All Up Round Canisters that can each hold six Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM).

Now delivered, Illinois is set to commission on Oct. 29 in Groton, Conn. The ship’s sponsor is First Lady Michelle Obama.

The following is the complete Aug. 29, 2016 statement from NAVSEA.

GROTON, Conn. – The Navy accepted delivery of PCU Illinois (SSN 786), the 13th submarine of the Virginia-class, on Aug. 27, early to its contract delivery date.

Illinois is the ninth consecutive Virginia-class submarine to deliver early to the Navy.

“Illinois’ delivery continues the program’s success of delivering Virginia-class submarines ahead of schedule and within budget,” said Capt. Michael J. Stevens, program manager. “Our plan is to have Illinois out on operations next year, going from construction start to mission- ready in just over six years.”

Illinois is the third of eight Virginia-class Block III submarines and the seventh of the class to be delivered to the Navy by General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. Illinois is scheduled to be commissioned Oct. 29 in Groton, Connecticut.

The submarine is the second Navy vessel to bear the Prairie State’s name. Illinois is home to the Navy’s only Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes where every enlisted Sailor begins Navy service. Illinois’ sponsor is First Lady Michelle Obama, a Chicago native and long-time supporter of military service members and their families. Her husband, President Barack Obama, is a former Illinois state and U.S. Senator.

Illinois successfully completed the independent Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) trials, which evaluate the submarine’s seaworthiness and operational capabilities, on Aug. 21. During INSURV trials, the crew took the submarine to test depth and tested the submarine’s propulsion plant and material readiness.

Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. This among other design changes reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

– NAVSEA –