Military Embedded Systems

General Dynamics Electric Boat's North Dakota attack submarine completes maiden voyage


August 08, 2014

Amanda Harvey

Assistant Editor

Military Embedded Systems

GROTON, Conn. The 11th Virginia-class advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, the North Dakota, returned to the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard after successfully completing its first voyage in open seas.

The alpha sea trials – directed by U.S. Navy Adm. John M. Richardson, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion – included various propulsion-plant and submarine operations, such as submerging for the first time and high-speed runs on and below the surface to demonstrate that the North Dakota’s propulsion plant is fully mission-capable. The North Dakota is commanded by Capt. Douglas Gordon.

"The crew and shipbuilders worked together as one unit to take this submarine to sea and put it through its paces," said Jeffrey Geiger, Electric Boat’s president. "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. I appreciate the contributions made by the Navy personnel, shipbuilders, and suppliers who made it happen."

With a hull length of 377 feet and a diameter of 34 feet, Virginia-class submarines displace 7,800 tons. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet, while carrying Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes and Tomahawk land-attack missiles.

Electric Boat and its construction teammate, Newport News Shipbuilding, have delivered 10 Virginia-class submarines to the U.S. Navy, and are currently constructing eight others.

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