Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The future U.S. Navy submarine USS Colorado, built by Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics Electric Boat, has been delivered to the service.
U.S. Sea Systems Command said delivery of the submarine occurred Thursday. The vessel is expected to be commissioned into service next spring.
"Colorado's delivery brings another Block III Virginia-class submarine to the fleet within budget," Navy Capt. Mike Stevens, Virginia-class submarine program manager said in a press release. "The submarine's outstanding quality continues the program's tradition of delivering combat ready submarines to the fleet.
"The Colorado is the most capable Virginia-class submarine bringing advanced capabilities and technology to the Navy fleet."
The future USS Colorado, or SSN 788, is the 15th Virginia-class submarine produced for the Navy and the fifth Block III model. Block IIIs feature a redesigned bow with enhanced payload capabilities -- 12 individual vertical launch tubes were replaced with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes that can launch six Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Construction of the ship began in 2012. It was christened last year.