The USS North Dakota (SSN-784), the 11th and latest of the

Virginia-class (SSN-774) attack submarines, has returned after completing its first voyage in open seas to conduct sea trials, contractor General Dynamics [GD] Electric Boat said Wednesday.

North DakotaThe alpha sea trials consisted of propulsion-plant operations, submerging for the first time, and high-speed runs on and below the surface to demonstrate that the ship’s propulsion plant is ready.

“The crew and shipbuilders worked together as one unit to take this submarine to sea and put it through its paces,” Jeffrey Geiger, the president of Electric Boat. “It was an outstanding effort by everyone involved, and demonstrates the commitment of the Navy and industry team to sustain the success of the Virginia-class submarine program.”

The North Dakota returned to Electric Boat in Groton, Conn. after the trials.

Electric Boat builds the submarines along with partner Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII], in Virginia.