On Saturday 7 March, the “keel” was “laid” in for the 15th boat of the Virginia Class, Colorado at General Dynamics Electric Boat facility at Quonset Point.
The ceremony, like a traditional keel-laying, marked the beginning of construction of the Submarine. Taking into account the keel-less hull of a nuclear Submarine, this modern ceremony saw the Ship Sponsor, Annie Mabus, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, first chalked her initials onto a steel plate which were then welded into the ceremonial steel plate by Electric Boat welder, John Alves.
One thousand employees and family members joined local and Congressional dignitaries and Navy officials at the ceremony.
Colorado is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in August 2017.
Virginia Class, Colorado represents a revolution in submarine design, construction and mission capability. Its contract delivery date to the Navy is August 2017.
Virginia-class submarines have been delivered on-budget and ahead-ofschedule, and displace 7,800 tons, with a hull length of 377 feet and a diameter of 34 feet. 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, Tomahawk land-attack missiles and unmanned underwater vehicles.
In April 2014, the Navy awarded a $17.6 billion contract - the largest in Navy shipbuilding history - to build 10 additional vessels.