Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] completed initial sea trials on the future USS

Montana (SSN-794) Virginia-class attack submarine, the company said Feb. 7.

The vessel was built at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division at Newport News, Va. During the event, the submarine spent several days at sea testing ship systems and components including submerging it for the first time and high-speed maneuvers both on the surface and under the surface. The company said it will keep testing SSN-794 before delivering the vessel, the first Block IV in the Virginia class, later this year.

“We are very proud to say the Montana and her crew performed exceptional. Taking the ship to sea for the first time is a huge milestone for everyone involved,” Jason Ward, Newport News Shipbuilding vice president of Virginia-class submarine construction, said in a statement.

“The crew, thousands of suppliers from around the country and shipbuilders from HII and Electric Boat can be proud the ship was successfully brought to life and will soon be part of the world’s greatest Navy,” he added.

Construction of the Montana started in 2015 and it is the 21st Virginia-class submarine. These vessels are built in partnership with General Dynamics’ Electric Boat [GD], where they split the work. SSN-794 was christened in September 2020 (Defense Daily, Sept. 18, 2020).