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General Dynamics - New Hampshire (SSN 778) completes sea trials

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General Dynamics
: 03 August, 2008  (New Product)
New Hampshire (SSN 778), the nation's newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, returned to the Electric Boat shipyard here today following the successful completion of its first voyage in open seas, called alpha sea trials.
New Hampshire's alpha sea trials included submerging for the first time, performing a range of submarine and propulsion-plant operations and conducting high-speed runs on the surface and underwater to demonstrate that the ship's propulsion plant is fully mission-capable. New Hampshire will be delivered to the U.S. Navy by the end of summer.

'I'm privileged to have participated in the successful propulsion plant sea trial for a Virginia-class submarine,' said Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Adm. Kirkland Donald, who directed the sea trials. 'New Hampshire, the fifth of the Virginia Class, performed satisfactorily in all operations and this success is a direct result of the hard work of both the crew and the shipbuilders. The Navy and the nation need submarines like New Hampshire and I am confident that she will support the missions for which she was designed.'

'Watching the crew and shipbuilders working as one to put this submarine through its paces was inspirational,' said Electric Boat President John P. Casey. 'It was a superb effort by everyone involved, and reflects the extraordinary commitment of the Navy/industry team to sustain the success of the Virginia-class Submarine Program.

'It's significant to note that this team reduced the time span between christening and sea trials from 11 months on the first ship of the class to less than six weeks on New Hampshire,' Casey added. 'That's a remarkable achievement, and I deeply appreciate the contributions made by the Navy personnel, shipbuilders and suppliers who made it happen.'

Also participating in the sea trials were Vice Adm. Paul Sullivan, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command; Rear Adm. Bruce Grooms, commander, Submarine Group Two; Rear Adm. William Hilarides, program executive officer -- Submarines; Capt. Christopher Pietras, supervisor of shipbuilding in Groton; Michael W. Toner, executive vice president -- Marine Systems, General Dynamics; John Holmander, Electric Boat vice president and Virginia-class program manager; and Becky Stewart, Northrop Grumman Newport News vice president -- submarine program. New Hampshire is commanded by Cmdr. Michael Stevens.

New Hampshire is achieving a number of noteworthy firsts in the U.S. Navy submarine program. Among them:

-- It is the first Virginia-class ship constructed in four sections, versus 10 for the lead ship of the class.

-- It will be the first Navy submarine delivered with its hull coating installed, which will significantly shorten its post-shakedown maintenance and modernization period.

Electric Boat has received contracts to build the first 10 submarines of a planned 30-ship Virginia Class under a teaming agreement that splits the construction workload between Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding.

Virginia-Class characteristics

Displacement: 7,835 tons
Length: 377 feet
Beam: 34 feet
Payload: 40 weapons; special operations forces; unmanned undersea vehicles
Weapons: Tomahawk land-attack missiles; Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes
Crew: 134 officers and enlisted men

Ships of the class

-- USS Virginia (SSN 774)
-- USS Texas (SSN 775)
-- USS Hawaii (SSN 776)
-- USS North Carolina (SSN 777)
-- New Hampshire (SSN 778)
-- New Mexico (SSN 779)
-- Missouri (SSN 780)
-- California (SSN 781)
-- Mississippi (SSN 782)
-- Minnesota (SSN 783)
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