Our newest Virginia class submarine, USS Illinois (SSN 786), joined our fleet when it was commissioned Oct. 29 at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

Platforms Matter: USS Illinois is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and mine warfare.The submarine is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. It will operate for over 30 years without ever refueling.  
Block III: SSN-786 is the third of eight Block III Virginia-class submarines to be built. The Block III submarines are built with new Virginia Payload Tubes designed to lower costs and increase missile-firing payload possibilities. The first 10 Block I and Block II Virginia-class submarines have 12 individual 21-inch diameter vertical launch tubes able to fire Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMS). The Block III submarines are built with two-larger 87-inch diameter tubes able to house six TLAMS each.

 

Experience the ceremony below that was attended by more than 2,500 people and learn these five things you need to  know about the boat.

GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) A color guard stands ready to parade the colors during the commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois (SSN 786) on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) A color guard stands ready to parade the colors during the commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois (SSN 786) on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) First Lady Michelle Obama, ship sponsor of USS Illinois (SSN 786), arrives at the commissioning ceremony on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) First Lady Michelle Obama, ship sponsor of USS Illinois (SSN 786), arrives at the commissioning ceremony on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson delivers the principal address at the commissioning ceremony for the Navy's newest fast attack submarine, USS Illinois (SSN 786) at Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Elliott Fabrizio/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson delivers the principal address at the commissioning ceremony for the Navy’s newest fast attack submarine, USS Illinois (SSN 786) at Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Elliott Fabrizio/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) First Lady Michelle Obama announces "Bring the Ship to Life" spurring its crew members to race across the brow and fall in formation aboard USS Illinois (SSN 786) during the commissioning ceremony on Naval Submarine Base New London (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) First Lady Michelle Obama announces “Bring the Ship to Life” spurring its crew members to race across the brow and fall in formation aboard USS Illinois (SSN 786) during the commissioning ceremony on Naval Submarine Base New London (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) Sailors assigned to USS Illinois (SSN 786) raise the national ensign aboard USS Illinois during its commissioning ceremony on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) Sailors assigned to USS Illinois (SSN 786) raise the national ensign aboard USS Illinois during its commissioning ceremony on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) The first watch stands ready to assume the duty aboard USS Illinois (SSN 786) on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) The first watch stands ready to assume the duty aboard USS Illinois (SSN 786) on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) Cmdr. Jesse Porter, commanding officer of USS Illinois (SSN 786), offers remarks at the commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) Cmdr. Jesse Porter, commanding officer of USS Illinois (SSN 786), offers remarks at the commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)

“The Illinois has joined the fleet. The crew of Illinois has assumed our watch-a watch that will continue for the next 30 years-always waiting for the call, always ready.”
– Cmdr. Jesse Porter
Commanding officer, USS Illinois (SSN 786)

GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) Guests attend the commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois (SSN 786) on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) Guests attend the commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois (SSN 786) on Naval Submarine Base New London. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
161029-N-HI707-974 GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) A guest dressed as Abraham Lincoln attend the commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois (SSN 786) and shakes hands of the crew on Naval Submarine Base New London, Oct. 29. USS Illinois is the U.S. NavyÕs 13th Virginia-Class attack submarine and the fourth ship named for the State of Illinois. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)
161029-N-HI707-974
GROTON, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2016) A guest dressed as Abraham Lincoln attend the commissioning ceremony of USS Illinois (SSN 786) and shakes hands of the crew on Naval Submarine Base New London, Oct. 29. USS Illinois is the U.S. NavyÕs 13th Virginia-Class attack submarine and the fourth ship named for the State of Illinois. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Darryl I. Wood/Released)