Virginia-Class Submarine Texas Reaches Major Construction Milestone


Newport News, Va. -- Nov. 7, 2003 -- Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) Newport News held a ceremony today to commemorate the pressure hull completion for the Virginia-class submarine Texas (SSN 775). The ceremony marked the completion of the submarine's final hull welds, making the entire pressure hull a single unit. It is the last major construction milestone before the Texas is christened next summer.

Many of the 2,000 Newport News employees who are building the Virginia-class submarines attended the ceremony and lunch in appreciation for achieving this milestone. Representatives from Northrop Grumman Newport News, General Dynamics Electric Boat and the U.S. Navy participated in the ceremony and praised employees for their hard work.

"It took a lot of hard work and long hours to get where we are today," said Don Check, Northrop Grumman Newport News vice president of Submarines. "And I thank my fellow shipbuilders for doing that. I'm proud to be one of you."

Northrop Grumman Newport News is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build the first 10 ships of the Virginia class. Texas, the second ship of the class, is 82 percent complete.

"The Virginia class program is alive and well and moving forward," said Captain John Heffron, Virginia class program manger for the Navy. "Pressure hull completion is a very significant milestone. The ship is starting to look like a finished submarine."

Named for the lone star state, Texas will provide undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. With improved stealthiness, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements, Texas will be the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world when it joins the fleet in 2005.

Northrop Grumman Newport News, headquartered in Newport News, Va., is the nation's sole designer, builder, and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of only two companies capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines. Newport News also provides after-market services for a wide array of naval and commercial vessels. The Newport News sector employs about 18,000 people.


Jennifer Dellapenta
(757) 380-3558

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