USS Illinois (SSN-786)

USS Illinois (SSN-786) is a Virginia-class nuclear powered attack submarine in the United States Navy. Named for the State of Illinois, she is the third vessel to actively serve with the name, the previous two being battleships BB-7 and BB-65. She was built by the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics, the third of their Block III variants which feature a revised bow and technology from the converted sub-class of Ohio guided missile submarines (SSGN).[10] The contract for the build was awarded on 22 December 2008 to Huntington Ingalls Industries in partnership with Electric Boat, and construction commenced with the keel laying ceremony on 2 June 2014, at their yard in Groton, Connecticut. First Lady Michelle Obama served as the ship's sponsor,[11] and christened the boat on 10 October 2015.[5] Illinois was launched on 8 August 2015[1] and completed sea trials on 2 August 2016.[12] She was delivered to the Navy on 27 August 2016 and commissioned in a ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London on 29 October 2016.[2][3][13] Then-First Lady Michelle Obama, as the sponsor, attended the ceremony and is considered to be an honorary member of the crew due to her support of military families and her involvement with the Illinois crew and their families.[14]

USS Illinois (SSN-786)
USS Illinois (SSN-786) is delivered to Naval Submarine Base New London on 30 August 2016.JPG
Illinois on 30 August 2016
United States
NameUSS Illinois
NamesakeThe state of Illinois
Awarded22 December 2008[1]
BuilderElectric Boat
Laid down2 June 2014[1][4]
Launched8 August 2015[1]
Sponsored byMichelle Obama[4]
Christened10 October 2015[5]
Acquired27 August 2016[2]
Commissioned29 October 2016[3]
HomeportPearl Harbor, Hawaii[1]
MottoNemo Magis Fortiter ("None more brave")
StatusShip in active service
BadgeUSS Illinois SSN 786.png
General characteristics
Class and typeVirginia-class submarine
  • 7,800 tons light
  • 7,800 tons full
Length114.9 meters (377 feet)
Beam10.3 meters (34 feet)
Draft9.8 meters (32 feet)
  • 1 × S9G PWR nuclear reactor[6] 280,000 shp (210 MW), HEU 93%[7][8]
  • 2 × steam turbines 40,000 shp (30 MW)
  • 1 × single shaft pump-jet propulsor[6]
  • 1 × secondary propulsion motor[6]
Speed25 knots (46 km/h)[9]
RangeEssentially unlimited distance; 33 years
Complement134 officers and sailors[9]


Illinois completed a change of homeport from Naval Submarine Base New London to Naval Base Pearl Harbor on 22 November 2017,[15] where she is assigned to Submarine Squadron One[16]

Ship's crestEdit

The official ship's crest was designed by Christopher Durdle of Roseville, IL and accepted by the Navy at an unveiling ceremony at the Union League Club of Chicago on 2 April 2015. First Lady Michelle Obama congratulated the contest finalists and crew via video at the ceremony.[17][18]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Illinois (SSN 786)". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b LaGrone, Sam (29 August 2016). "Attack Boat Illinois Delivers Early to Navy". USNI News. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b "USS Illinois Joins the Fleet" (Press release). United States Navy. 29 October 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b McDermott, Jennifer (2 June 2013). "First lady helps lay keel for new submarine". Navy Times. Associated Press.
  5. ^ a b "Navy sub 'Illinois' christened by Michelle Obama". Chicago Tribune. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Ragheb, Magdi (9 September 2011), Tsvetkov, Pavel (ed.), "Nuclear Naval Propulsion", Nuclear Power - Deployment, Operation and Sustainability, ISBN 978-953-307-474-0
  7. ^ "Validation of the Use of Low Enriched Uranium as a Replacement for Highly Enriched Uranium in US Submarine Reactors" (PDF). June 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  8. ^ "US study of reactor and fuel types to enable naval reactors to shift from HEU fuel". 10 April 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  9. ^ a b "The US Navy – Fact File". United States Navy. 19 May 2007. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2022.
  10. ^ "Virginia Block III: The Revised Bow". Defense Industry Daily. 21 December 2008.
  11. ^ "Remarks by the First Lady at the Keel Laying Ceremony for the PCU ILLINOIS". (Press release). The White House : Office of the First Lady. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014 – via National Archives.
  12. ^ "USS Illinois successfully completes alpha sea trials".
  13. ^ "Navy to Commission Submarine Illinois" (Press release). United States Navy. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  14. ^ Michelle Obama: 'Beyond proud' at Navy submarine ceremony,, 29 October 2016, accessed 31 October 2016
  15. ^ "USS Illinois Arrives in Pearl Harbor" (Press release). United States Navy. 26 November 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Virginia-class submarine Illinois reaches Pearl Harbor homeport for first time". 23 November 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Students Compete to Design USS Illinois Crest". NBC Chicago.
  18. ^ "Creative crests for crew". Commercial News.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit