BISMARCK, North Dakota — A Navy attack submarine named for North Dakota could be deployed within two months, its senior enlisted sailor says.
Construction of the $2.6 billion USS North Dakota began in March 2009. It was commissioned in late October at a Navy base in Connecticut.
Master Chief Petty Officer Tim Preabt — the only crew member who is a North Dakota native — told North Dakota lawmakers during a visit Monday that the sub has been out to sea for several months of testing.
"We're going through a test cycle right now before the boat is deployed," he said. "North Dakota performed very well according to all of the testing and sea trials we did."
The 377-foot-long submarine with a crew of nearly 150 can launch cruise missiles, deliver special forces and carry out surveillance. It is the first Navy vessel in a century to be named for the state.
"The capabilities of the boat allow it to operate anywhere in the world undetected," Preabt said.