New Nuclear Submarine Launches in Virginia

November 16, 2010

The Navy's newest nuclear-powered submarine has reached a significant milestone.

Northrop Grumman says the Virginia-class submarine California was launched at its Newport News shipyard over the weekend. Officials say the launch is important in the life of a submarine because it's the first time the ship is put into the water.

Shipbuilders moved the 7,800-ton ship out of the construction facility to the floating dry dock last week. The dock was then submerged into the James River. Tugboats then moved the California to the shipyard's submarine pier where final outfitting and testing will take place.

California is the eighth ship of the Virginia Class. The $2.3 billion submarine is 377 feet long and can dive to depths greater than 800 feet.

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