The Navy took
delivery of its newest attack submarine, PCU North Carolina (SSN 777), from Northrop Grumman (NOC)
Newport News (NGNN) Feb. 21. North Carolina is the fourth Virginia-class submarine and the second delivered by NGNN.
“Eighteen months ago I estimated that North Carolina would deliver six months late, but thanks to the hard work of a lot of people at both NGNN and GDEB [General Dynamics (GD)
Electric Boat] we were able to deliver only about seven weeks late to the original schedule – a 10-month improvement when compared to NGNN’s first Virginia-class submarine, USS Texas (SSN 775),” said Capt. Dave Johnson
, Virginia-class program manager. “The Navy’s shipbuilding partners have brought the learning curve down and performance continues to improve.”
The Virginia-class is the Navy’s first major combatant designed and delivered specifically for the post-Cold War security environment. The class provides the ability to dominate across a wide range of missions including Strike; Special Operations; Anti-submarine and Anti-surface ship warfare; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance; Battle Group Support; and Mine warfare in both shallow and deep-water environments.
“North Carolina’s delivery marks a major milestone for the program,” said Program Executive Officer for Submarines Rear Adm. William Hilarides. “It completed the last ship of the Block I contract and with Electric Boat’s and Newport News’ continued improvement and innovation we will reach our goal of 2 for 4 in 12 [buying two Virginia Class
submarines for $4 billion as measured in Fiscal Year 2005 dollars, in Fiscal Year 2012].”
North Carolina will
be commissioned May 3, 2008, in Wilmington, N.C. Mrs. Linda Bowman
, wife of retired Adm. Frank Bowman
, the former Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, is the ship’s sponsor.