Commissioning delayed for submarine North Dakota

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GROTON, Conn. (AP) - The commissioning of the $2.6 billion submarine that will become USS North Dakota has been postponed because of issues with the design of the bow and component parts, the Navy said Wednesday.

The attack submarine was christened in November at the shipyard of Navy contractor Electric Boat in Groton. It had been scheduled to join the fleet with a commissioning ceremony May 31.

Colleen O’Rourke, a Washington-based spokeswoman for Naval Sea Systems Command, said the cause of the problems remains under investigation and it is not clear which contractor might be responsible. A new date for the commissioning ceremony has not been set.

“This decision is based on the need for additional design and certification work required on the submarine’s redesigned bow and material issues with vendor-assembled and delivered components,” the Navy said in a news release.

The submarine is the 11th in the Virginia class of ships. The 377-foot-long submarine will be able to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles, deliver special forces and carry out surveillance over land and sea.

It is the second Navy vessel to be named North Dakota. The last ship named for the state was a coal-fired, steam-powered battleship built in 1910. It was decommissioned in 1923 and sold for scrap in 1931.

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