USS North Dakota, America’s new super submarine, after five years of construction, is ready to set sail and this Virginia-class sub is not like the others…
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USS North Dakota officially became the Navy’s newest addition to the submarine force, it’s far more advanced and way less expensive to operate.
The submarine it will operate for 33 years without ever refueling, is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam, will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds more than 25 knots submerged.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the 30th Chief of Naval Operations, said:
“It is with great pride that I welcome USS North Dakota to the fleet. May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail on her. I congratulate all whose hard work and dedication brought this magnificent warship to life. On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy and for the President of the United States, I hereby place USS North Dakota in commission.”
USS North Dakota (SSN-784) is a Virginia-class submarine of the United States Navy. She will be the second U.S. Navy ship to be named for the U.S. state of North Dakota. She was commissioned in Groton, Connecticut on 25 October 2014.
North Dakota is the first of eight Virginia Class Block III ships. Approximately 20 percent of North Dakota was redesigned to lower acquisition cost and increase operational flexibility. The changes include a ship’s bow redesign, replacing 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The contract to build her was awarded to Electric Boat division of General Dynamics in Groton, Connecticut on 14 August 2003. Her name was announced on 15 July 2008 and her keel was laid down on 11 May 2012. She was floated on 15 September 2013 and was christened on 2 November 2013, sponsored by Katie Fowler, wife of Vice Admiral Jeff Fowler.
The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of North Dakota on 29 August 2014 two days prior to its contract delivery date. The submarine successfully completed Alpha, Bravo, and Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) trials, which evaluate the submarine’s seaworthiness and operational capabilities. During the trials, the crew took the submarine to test depth, conducted an emergency surfacing, and tested the submarine’s propulsion plant. The U.S. Navy postponed North Dakota´s original commissioning date of May 2014 because of quality issues with vendor-assembled and delivered components that required an unplanned dry-docking to correct. Additional design certification work was also required on the submarine’s redesigned bow. North Dakota was commissioned on 25 October 2014 in Groton, Connecticut.