The third Virginia-class block III submarine and 13th of the Virginia-class fast attack class, the future USS Illinois (SSN 786) has the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces, MANA correspondent reported.
Other missions include antisubmarine and antiship warfare, mine delivery and minefield mapping. It is also designed for special forces delivery and support.
Virginia-class submarines are 7,800 tons and 377 feet in length, have a beam of 34 feet and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. They are built with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship-reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.
The new submarine is the second U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with the name Illinois. The previous Illinois (BB 7), a battleship, was built at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, laid down in 1897 and was the lead ship of a class of three 11,565-ton battleships.