Huntington Ingalls Industries have announced that the Virginia class submarine Montana was launched into the James River at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.

According to a news release that can be found here, the 7,800-ton submarine, which had been in a floating dry dock since being transferred from a construction facility in October, was submerged and moved by tugboats to the shipyard’s submarine pier, for final outfitting, testing and crew certification.

“For our shipbuilders, launching Montana signifies five years of hard work, commitment and dedicated service,” said Jason Ward, Newport News’ vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction.

“We look forward to executing our waterborne test program, and working toward sea trials and delivering the submarine to the Navy later this year.”

Through the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat approximately 10,000 shipbuilders, as well as suppliers from all 50 states, have participated in Montana’s construction since the work began in 2015. Montana is approximately 92% complete and scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in late 2021.

Virginia class submarines, a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, are built for a broad spectrum of open ocean and littoral missions to replace the U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles class submarines as they are retired.

“Virginia class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These submarines are capable of supporting multiple mission areas and can operate at submerged speeds of more than 25 knots for months at a time.”

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Hope it keeps the Chinese at bay.


As good or better than Astute?

Sean Crowley

The Astutes have a Stealthier acoustic design hence the weird shape to them and the English introduced the non-attenuating floated machinery space where the resonate frequency of Turbines basically cancels out at a set RPM . Pretty fancy thinking i thought , so as good as the Virginia is i actually think the yours is silenter design but then again Virginia is way easier to lock and load .


The Virginia class is continually being upgraded in blocks. Each Block upgrade includes X amount of boats with numerous upgrades from sensors and quieting improvements to more TLAMS to even a lengthened hull in upcoming blocks. Not sure if this class will ever reach the extreme all around performance of the 3 Sea Wolf class boats but the block IV and V are world class subs with few if any equals.


they’re going to have to accelerate the construction to keep pace with the LA class boats retiring

David Barry

Covered 2 years ago, they can’t; there will be a dip in numbers… add that to the dip in carriers against a Chinese blue water navy and Taiwan better hope she can hold out.

John Clark

That might be true David, but the reality is that if just four Virginia class boats went to work against the Chinese Navy, they would absolutely gut it….

Still overlooked when compared to the glamour of Strike Carriers, SSN’s, particularly the Virginia class and our handful of Astutes really are the capital ships of today ….

These modern boats have such a high weapons load and perseverance, they are capable of laying waste to any hostile navy, almost with impunity….


Mmm…with impunity ? I’d love to believe it but if taking on say China in the SCS very unlikely. Its their battlespace so they will have prepared it with acoustic arrays I’d imagine and numbers of relatively stealthy diesel subs both in area and its approaches plus MPA’s, acoustic mines etc etc.

Andy G

Even US war games say they lose any war fought inside the first island chain. In fact, under no scenario do they win at least until 2026.