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Future USS Illinois delivered early to U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy accepted delivery of 13th Virginia-class submarine on Saturday.

By
Geoff Ziezulewicz
The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Illinois, the 13th Virginia-class submarine, on Saturday, the sea service announced. The Illinois is shown here during its float off in August 2015. Photo courtesy Electric Boat
The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Illinois, the 13th Virginia-class submarine, on Saturday, the sea service announced. The Illinois is shown here during its float off in August 2015. Photo courtesy Electric Boat

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.

The boat, built by General Dynamics Electric Boat, is the ninth consecutive Virginia-class submarine to be delivered early to the Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command said in a statement.

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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.

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