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US Navy receives new Virginia-class submarine

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Newport News Shipbuilding delivered the submarine California (SSN 781) to the US Navy on Aug. 7. A HII photo

NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA (BNS): The US Navy has taken delivery of its eighth Virginia-class submarine, PCU California (SSN-781), eight months ahead of schedule.

The nuclear-powered fast attack submarine was handed over to the Navy by Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding (HII–NNS) on Sunday. This is the first submarine delivered under the HII–NNS banner.

It took 65 months to build California – five months less than the previous submarine, USS New Mexico (SSN 779), delivered by what was then Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, the Navy said.

Prior to delivery, the submarine passed a series of sea trials.

“California’s successful run through each successive sea trial, and its early delivery, means the Navy will add another highly-capable, eagerly-anticipated Virginia-class submarine to the fleet to meet operational demands,” said Rear Adm. (Select) Michael Jabaley, Virginia-class programme manager.

The submarine will be commissioned into service on October 29, 2011.

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