By Team Submarine Public Affairs
The TECHEVAL marks the first of many milestones being accomplished by the Virginia Class Program this year. North Carolina (SSN 777), the fourth ship of the class, is scheduled for delivery later this month and will be commissioned on May 3 in Wilmington, N.C. The fifth Virginia Class ship, New Hampshire (SSN 778), will be christened June 21 at General Dynamics Electric Boat’s Groton, Conn., facility and is scheduled to deliver in August or September – seven to eight months before its contract delivery date. New Mexico (SSN 779), the seventh Virginia, will have its keel laid
on April 12 at the Northrop Grumman Newport News facility in Newport News, Va. On Jan. 30, Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter announced the names of the seventh, eighth, and ninth ships of the class — Missouri (SSN 780), California (SSN 781), and Mississippi (SSN 782), respectively. Lastly, the Virginia Class Program Office released the request for proposals for the eight-ship Block III contract and is working with the Naval Sea Systems Command to achieve a common goal of awarding the contract for SSNs 784-791 before the end of the calendar year.