GROTON, Conn., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Illinois, the 13th Virginia-class submarine, on Saturday, the sea service announced.
Officials aim to have Illinois out on operations next year, going from the start of construction to mission-ready in just more than six years, NAVSEA said.
Illinois is the third of eight Virginia-class Block III boats and is scheduled to be commissioned in October.
First lady Michelle Obama, a Chicago native, is the submarine's sponsor.
Illinois successfully completed the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey trials in August in a series of tests where the boat was taken to test depth and its propulsion plant and material readiness were put to work.
The Block III boats 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.
Virginia-class subs are built to conduct a variety of missions in littoral and deep waters.