WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Pre-Commissioning Unit New Mexico (SSN 779), the U.S. Navy's newest submarine, successfully completed its initial sea trials, or Alpha Trials, Nov. 26.
The submarine departed Newport News, Va., Nov. 24 to evaluate its seaworthiness and operational performance. New Mexico's Alpha Trials included diving to test depth, executing an emergency surfacing, and testing the ship's propulsion plant performance.
Successful completion of these sea trials is a significant step towards ensuring that New Mexico meets all specifications and is ready for delivery to the Navy, which is anticipated by the end of 2009, following completion of Bravo Sea Trials and the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey trials.
"New Mexico's successful completion of sea trials is a testament to the hard work of the Navy's shipbuilding team," said Capt. Michael Jabaley, Virginia Class program manager. "It is this partnership that has helped get New Mexico to where it is today, ahead of original contract schedule."
New Mexico is the sixth submarine of the Virginia Class and third that Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding will deliver. Delivery of the ship prior to the end of the year would be four months early to its contract delivery date.
When commissioned in early 2010, New Mexico will join the five subs of its class as flexible, multi-mission platforms designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the Submarine Force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; special operations forces; strike; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and mine warfare.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.