Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The fast-attack submarine USS Delaware was delivered to the U.S. Navy by manufacturer Huntington Ingalls Industries, the company said on Monday.
The nuclear-powered vessel completed sea trials earlier this month, and is the Navy's 18th Virginia-class submarine, the company announced.
The formal commissioning of the USS Delaware is scheduled for Apr. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. Delivery to the Navy was made on Friday. The submarine will be the seventh Navy vessel to carry the state's name.
"Like the last two submarines we delivered to the Navy, Delaware has received some of the highest quality scores since the Virginia-class program began," said Dave Bolcar, Newport News' vice president of submarine construction in a statement.
The purchase of at 20 more Virginia class vessels, replacing the Los Angeles-class, is planned through 2043. They are designed for open-ocean and littoral missions, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, special operation forces support, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare missions.
The class is regarded as a less-expensive alternative to the Cold War-era Seawolf class of submarines. Built by Huntington Ingalls' Newport News shipbuilding division and by General Dynamics Electric Boat, they cost between $2.8 billion and $3.2 billion each.
In July, crew members ceremonially dined on salad, sausage and spaghetti in a first meal aboard the submarine.
"The first meal is a significant event in construction for both shipbuilders and the Navy crew," Bob Bolden, of HII said said at the time. "This is a result of shipbuilders and sailors working side by side and is one of the last steps in the journey to bringing the ship to its operational state to support sea trials and delivery."