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Keel laid for new submarine

A keel laying ceremony has been held by the U.S. Navy for its 16th Virginia-class submarine.

By Richard Tomkins
Keel laid for new submarine
An artist's rendition of a Virginia-class submarine. U.S. Navy image.

WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) -- A keel laying ceremony has been held by the U.S. Navy for its 16th Virginia-class nuclear submarine, the future USS Indiana.

The ceremony was held at Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia and included welding the initials of the submarine's sponsor onto a steel plate.

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"The Indiana keel laying is an important construction milestone for us and our shipbuilding partners," said Rear Adm. David Johnson, Program Executive Officer for Submarines. "This ceremony continues to demonstrate the collaboration between the Navy and our partners to ensure we are building a capable and affordable ship to defend our country."

Work on the submarine – the sixth Block III Virginia-class vessel – began in 2012, the Navy said,. Ir is being built under a unique teaming agreement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.

Virginia-class submarines are 377 feet long, displace 7,800 tons and have a speed of 25 knots. They have a test depth of more than 800 feet.

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