Virginia Submarine Program Reaches Another Milestone

Thursday, December 11, 2003
From Team Submarine Public Affairs

Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN) celebrated a key milestone on USS Texas (SSN 775), with a ceremony marking the pressure hull being welded completely closed. This event, referred to as Pressure Hull Complete, is a significant step toward the completion and commissioning of the ship. The second ship of the Virginia-class, Texas is another step closer to “getting wet.” With 81 percent of the construction work complete, Capt. John Heffron, the Virginia-class program manager, said, “The high percentage of work accomplished at Pressure Hull Complete gives me confidence that future key events will be met on time.” NNGN is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build Virginia-class submarines. Each shipbuilder constructs sections of the ship, while final assembly, outfitting, test and delivery are alternated between them. Texas is the lead ship for NGNN under the co-production plan, and will be assembled and delivered at its facility in Newport News, Va., in 2005. The Virginia-class, the Navy's next-generation attack submarine, will provide the capabilities which are required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. As one of the class, Texas will have state-of-the-art stealth characteristics, sophisticated surveillance capabilities, and Special Operations Forces delivery and support. Texas will be capable of conducting covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other naval forces. Other capabilities include cruise missile strike and enhanced communications connectivity that will enable Texas to provide important battle group and joint forces support, and meet the Navy's multimission requirements.

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