VIDEO: Newport News hosts SSN 789 christening

Newport News Shipbuilding hosted the christening of the 16th Virginia-class submarine Indiana (SSN 789) on April 29. Construction began in September 2012 and is about 90 percent complete. The submarine is on track to deliver to the Navy this year Newport News Shipbuilding hosted the christening of the 16th Virginia-class submarine Indiana (SSN 789) on April 29. Construction began in September 2012 and is about 90 percent complete. The submarine is on track to deliver to the Navy this year Matt Hildreth/HII

MAY 1, 2017 —Huntington Ingalls Industries' (NYSE:HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division hosted the christening of Indiana (SSN 789), the 16th Virginia-class submarine, in an April 29 ceremony at the shipyard .

With a single swing, ship's sponsor Diane Donald performed the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the submarine's hull. She is the wife of Adm. Kirkland Donald (U.S. Navy, Ret.), former director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion.

"It's the honor of a lifetime to be here today," said Donald. "While the size of the submarine alone is stunning, the complexity inside sets it apart from any other machine ever built. These ships are second to none, made in America by truly remarkable Americans."

Vice President Mike Pence, former governor of Indiana, served as the ceremony's keynote speaker. Speaking to the shipbuilders, he acknowledged their dedication and skill.

"You have the gratitude of the commander in chief for your unwavering commitment to your country, your patriotism, your craftsmanship, and rest assured, President Trump will honor your commitment with historic investments in our national defense," he said,

Other ceremony participants included Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va.; Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.; Sec. Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy; Vice Adm. Joseph Tofalo, commander, Submarine Forces; Adm. Tom Fargo (U.S. Navy, Ret.), chairman of the board, Huntington Ingalls Industries; Mike Petters, president and CEO, Huntington Ingalls Industries; Matt Mulherin, president, Newport News Shipbuilding; and Jeffrey Geiger, president, General Dynamics Electric Boat.

About 4,000 Newport News shipbuilders have participated in Indiana's construction in partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat. Construction began in September 2012 and is about 90 percent complete. The submarine is on track to deliver to the Navy this year.

"It's hard to describe what it's like to build one of the most complex machines in the world," said Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin. "For our shipbuilders who do this every day – they can even lose perspective of the contributions they are making to our Navy and to our nation. For them, it's all part of a day's work—a long, hard, honest day's work. However, as you look upon this magnificent vessel, I think you'll agree, it's no ordinary job. In fact, it's pretty extraordinary. Our shipbuilders define what 'Made in America' means."

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