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.
“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)