Thursday, April 19, 2012

Future USS Mississippi Successfully Passes Sea Trials, On Track for Summer Commissioning

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Pre-Commissioning Unit Mississippi (SSN 782), the nation's newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, arrived April 17 at General Dynamics Electric Boat following its successful completion of Alpha and Bravo sea trials.

Testing evolutions completed during Alpha sea trials included diving to test depth, conducting an emergency surfacing, and testing the submarine's propulsion plant and were designed to evaluate the ship's seaworthiness and operational performance.

"With each Virginia-class submarine delivery, we continue to raise the performance and quality even further above an already high bar. Our first look at Mississippi's performance underway shows that she has continued that trend," said Virginia Class Program Manager Rear Adm. (sel.) Michael Jabaley, who rode the ship during Alpha trials.

Bravo trials consisted of testing Virginia's acoustic performance and combat systems.

The ninth ship of the Virginia-class, Mississippi is on track to deliver up to one year early of its contract delivery date. All Virginia-class submarines currently under construction are scheduled to deliver earlier than their original contract delivery dates.

Mississippi is commanded by Neptune, N.J., native Capt. John McGrath, who shared the experience of seeing his crew successfully operating his ship at sea for the first time.

"It was an exhilarating experience to finally see the crew operate the ship at sea. The sea trials schedule was extremely challenging and required us to drive the ship at its operational limits. I was very happy with the ship's performance, but I was even happier with how our Sailors executed their duties throughout the underway," said McGrath.

Mississippi's sponsor Allison Stiller christened the ninth Virginia-class submarine during a ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat, Dec. 3. Mississippi will be commissioned in Pascagoula, Miss. June 2.

Construction on the submarine began in February 2007. Virginia-class submarines are built under a unique teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News.

Virginia-class submarines are designed to dominate the world's littoral and deep waters while conducting Anti-submarine; anti-surface ship; strike; special operation forces; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, firepower, and sensor suite directly enable them to support five of the six Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.