US Navy takes early delivery of PCU California


The US Navy has taken delivery of PCU California (SSN 781) from Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding more than eight months earlier than the scheduled contract delivery date.

“The quality and professionalism of our Navy/shipbuilding team is evident in California’s outstanding performance during its recent sea trials and early delivery,” said Programme Executive Officer for Submarines, Rear Admiral David Johnson.

California, delivered on Sunday, required 65 months to build – five months less than the previous submarine, USS New Mexico (SSN 779), delivered by what was then Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. California, the eighth Virginia-class submarine, is the first delivered under the Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) banner.

Prior to delivery, California passed a battery of at-sea tests including the Board of Inspection and Survey 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 Admiral (Select) Michael Jabaley, Virginia-class programme manager. “California, along with her sister ships, will provide unmatched capabilities to the fleet while honouring the proud traditions of her namesake state.”

The next major event for California will be its commissioning Oct. 29 in Norfolk, Va. California’s commissioning is the second-to-last major acquisition milestone for the Virginia-class program this year. The christening ceremony for PCU Mississippi (SSN 782) will cap off the year this December, in Groton, Conn.

Virginia-class submarines are designed to dominate the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine; anti-surface ship; strike; special operation forces; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. The inherent stealth, endurance, firepower, and sensor suite of these submarines enable them to support five of the six Maritime Strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.