Block III attack submarine Illinois (SSN 786) Delivered Early to the
U.S. Navy accepted delivery of PCU Illinois (SSN 786), the 13th submarine
of the Virginia-class, on Aug. 27, early to its contract delivery date.
Illinois is the ninth consecutive Virginia-class submarine to deliver
early to the U.S. Navy. Illinois is the third Block III submarine of
the series, featuring a revised bow with a Large Aperture Bow (LAB)
sonar array, as well as technology from Ohio-class SSGNs (the Virginia
Payload Module: 2 VLS tubes each containing 6 missiles)
The future USS Illinois. Photo courtesy General Dynamics Electric Boat
delivery continues the program’s success of delivering Virginia-class
submarines ahead of schedule and within budget,” said Capt. Michael
J. Stevens, program manager. “Our plan is to have Illinois out
on operations next year, going from construction start to mission- ready
in just over six years."
Illinois is the third of eight Virginia-class Block III submarines and
the seventh of the class to be delivered to the Navy by General Dynamics
Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. Illinois is scheduled to be commissioned
Oct. 29 in Groton, Connecticut.
The submarine is the second Navy vessel to bear the Prairie State’s
name. Illinois is home to the Navy’s only Recruit Training Command
in Great Lakes where every enlisted Sailor begins Navy service. Illinois’
sponsor is First Lady Michelle Obama, a Chicago native and long-time
supporter of military service members and their families. Her husband,
President Barack Obama, is a former Illinois state and U.S. Senator.
Illinois successfully completed the independent Navy's Board of Inspection
and Survey (INSURV) trials, which evaluate the submarine's seaworthiness
and operational capabilities, on Aug. 21. During INSURV trials, the
crew took the submarine to test depth and tested the submarine's propulsion
plant and material readiness.
Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual
launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable
of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. This among other design changes
reduced the submarines' acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding
Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world's littoral
and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface
ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare
missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower
directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core
capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime
security, and deterrence.