By Team Submarine Public Affairs
The Navy took delivery of its newest attack submarine, Pre Commissioning Unit (PCU) New Hampshire (SSN 778), from General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) on Aug. 27, eight months early to its contract delivery date.
New Hampshire is the fifth Virginia-Class submarine and the third delivered by GDEB.
New Hampshire's early delivery is an important milestone for both the submarine force and the Virginia-Class Program.
Rear Adm. (sel) Dave Johnson, Virginia-Class Program Manager commented, "Our shipbuilding partners have played an active role in reducing construction time and cost, both through the Capital Expenditures (CAPEX) incentive program that improves facilities and LEAN initiatives that make shipbuilding more efficient." USS Hawaii (SSN 776) and USS North Carolina (SSN 777), the two submarines delivered prior to New Hampshire, completed after 86 and 82 months respectively. New Hampshire completed construction in just 71 months. "New Mexico, our next submarine, is projected to be completed after 66 months of construction.
We're closing in on our goal to reduce construction time down to 60 months by our FY12 ships, a significant cost reduction milestone", added Johnson.
According to Johnson, "The Virginia-Class Program has achieved real savings through Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) purchases." Johnson also noted that negotiations are currently on-going for the Block III contract, which the Navy plans to award in December 2008.
New Hampshire's delivery is the fourth of seven Virginia-Class milestones planned for 2008. Earlier accomplishments include PCU New Mexico's (SSN 779) keel laying ceremony on April 12, North Carolina's May 3 commissioning, and New Hampshire's christening ceremony held at GDEB on June 21. GDEB will host PCU Missouri's (SSN 780) keel laying ceremony on September 27 while New Mexico will be christened at NGSB on December 13. In between those two events, the Navy will commission New Hampshire at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine October 25.
This will mark the first time since 1996 that the Navy has commissioned two submarines of the same class in the same year.
Virginia-Class submarines are flexible, multi-mission platforms designed to operate in both open-ocean and littoral waters. Their inherent stealth, endurance, and firepower enable them to support the United States seapower core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, and maritime security.