updated 5/9/2011 5:47:56 PM ET 2011-05-09T21:47:56

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., May 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) today welcomed the crew of the newest Virginia-class submarine, California (SSN 781), as it moved aboard to prepare for the crew's first meal Tuesday in the ship's galley.

California (SSN 781) Crew (a)
Becky Stewart (left), vice president of Newport News Shipbuilding's submarine program, and Cmdr. Dana Nelson, prospective commanding officer of California, cut a cake Monday in celebration of the crew's move aboard the submarine. Photo by John Whalen

California (SSN 781) Crew (b)
Crew members on the Virginia-class submarine California celebrate their move-aboard in the galley. California will be the first submarine to be delivered by Newport News Shipbuilding under the company's new name. Photo by John Whalen

A photo accompanying this release is available at URL: http://media.globenewswire.com/hii/mediagallery.html?pkgid=9661

California, the seventh ship of the class and named to honor the "Golden State," is in the final stages of construction and testing at HII's Newport News shipyard. Upon delivery to the Navy in 2011, California will be the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, providing undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. The submarine's next significant construction milestone is initial sea trials, an aggressive series of operational tests that demonstrate the submarine's capabilities.

"The combined shipbuilder and Navy team worked together to achieve this important milestone," said Becky Stewart, vice president of Newport News Shipbuilding's submarine program. "Once the crew moves onboard, the submarine comes to life and begins its final journey toward becoming an operational platform. It's an exciting time for the entire California team as we move one step closer to delivery."

HII, one of only two companies capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines, is teamed with General Dynamics Electric Boat to build Virginia-class submarines. California will be the first Virginia-class submarine delivered by Newport News Shipbuilding under the company's new name. Newport News Shipbuilding is a division of HII, which was known as Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding until it began operating March 31 as an independent, publicly traded company.

The ship's construction began Feb. 15, 2006, and the keel was laid during a ceremony held May 1, 2009. California was christened Nov. 6, 2010, and launched Nov. 14, 2010. The commissioning date has been scheduled by the Secretary of the Navy for Oct. 29.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Employing nearly 38,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding. For more information, please visit www.huntingtoningalls.com .

The Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=9418

CONTACT: Christie Miller
         (757) 380-3581

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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