Pre-Commissioning Unit North Dakota (SSN 784) sits moored at the graving dock of General Dynamics Electric Boat prior to its christening ceremony on Nov. 2 in Groton, Conn. (Lt. j.g. Phillip Chitty / US Navy)
Aug. 11, 2014 - By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS- Defense News
WASHINGTON — The building program of the US Navy’s Virginia-class submarines has an outstanding reputation, both for keeping to cost and for on-time delivery. There’s even a modest competition between the two shipyards that build the subs to see who can shave off more time of the contractual delivery date.
Bets are off, however, for the North Dakota, the 11th and newest unit of the class. The submarine is the first of the Block III version, with the most significant design changes to date — that led to delays that were acknowledged in the spring. The Navy hoped to continue the march of early deliveries and begin the sub’s first round of sea trials in mid-April, but it was apparent more time was needed to resolve a number of problems.
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