PCU New Hampshire (SSN 778) Finishes Alpha Trials
Only six weeks after her christening, the crew of PCU New Hampshire took their submarine to sea for the first time last week. While EB is making a big deal out of the short time between christening and Alpha Trials (it was 11 months for the Virginia), it should be pointed out that the shipyard can delay christening as long as they want -- it's purely ceremonial, and while you can't do the ceremony before the boat can float, you can do it anytime afterwards.
Still, I'm impressed that the crew got through both big milestones so close together, and I'm impressed that the shipyard will get the boat coated before delivery. For now, I'll be happy for them to release a picture of the boat on Alpha Trials -- even though I promised I wouldn't complain about it, I do want to see if the shipyard pressured the ship into flying the damn broom at the end.
Update 2300 06 Aug: I still haven't seen any pictures of the boat coming back from Alpha Trials, but here's a picture of her as she got underway: