There's a lot going on with the Navy's next generation of nuclear subs, the Virginia class. Instead of traditional periscopes, think telescoping photonic sensors. Instead of blade-powered propulsion, think pump jets.
We've got a sneak peak of the construction going on for the next batch of Virginias in the works, Block III. That includes the USS Washington, which was christened earlier this year, but has yet to swim the high seas.
Newport News Shipbuilding riggers Christopher Parrish (in the gray sweatshirt) and Henry Dillard (in a red shirt) fit a charcoal filter to the fan room for the Virginia-class submarine Indiana. Ricky Campbell, inside the unit, waits to clamp the filter into position.
The Indiana was laid down in 2014 but has yet to be christened or officially commissioned.
The bow section of Virginia-class submarine Illinois (SSN 786) is moved to the river to be transported. It was christened in October 2015 by First Lady Michelle Obama, but it still officially under construction.
The bow units of Washington and Colorado (SSN 788) fill one side of the Supplemental Modular Outfitting Facility. The facility itself is impressive: 65,000 square feet of production area and four main bays for construction, as well as 17 specialized work spaces, offices and areas for lunch breaks.
A panorama of Newport News Shipbuilding taken from the Floating Dry Dock showing (left to right) USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72); the bow unit of Illinois being moved to a sea shuttle; Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) undergoing final outfitting, and USS Enterprise (CVN 65) undergoing inactivation.
Mike Bishop, left, and Daniel Evans fit a plate on a diving plane for Indiana. Diving planes, sometimes called hydroplanes, allow the vessel to pitch its bow and stern up or down...all the better to surface or submerge.