Newport News Shipbuilding, a Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) subsidiary, has christened the U.S. Navy‘s 16th Virginia-class Indiana submarine at the company’s shipyard in Newport News, Virginia.
The christening occurred Saturday and ship’s sponsor Diane Donald, wife of Adm. Kirkland Donald (U.S. Navy, Ret.), former director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion, performed the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the hull. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gave the keynote address at the ceremony.
HII said that work on the submarine is 90 percent complete and on track for delivery to the service branch within the year. The company added that approximately 4,000 shipbuilders from Newport News have supported the construction efforts for the Indiana submarine alongside Electric Boat personnel.
Other attendees at the event included Diane Donald, Indiana’s sponsor, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy, and Vice Adm. Joseph Tofalo, commander of the Submarine Forces.
Mike Petters, HII president and CEO, Matt Mulherin, president of the Newport News Shipbuilding group, and Jeffrey Geiger, president of General Dynamics’ Electric Boat subsidiary, also attended the christening ceremony.
The Navy’s nuclear-powered Virginia-class submarines were built to support a spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions as well as serve as a replacement to the service branch’s fleet of Los Angeles-class submarines.