14:26 GMT +318 November 2019
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    An attack submarine sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and capable of carrying 12 Tomahawk cruise missiles has been delivered to the US Navy. It has been named after Obama’s home state, Illinois.

    According to Military.com, the $2.7 billion USS Illinois, a Virginia-class submarine, has been delivered to the US Navy after a construction period of five and a half years. It will be commissioned in Groton, Connecticut, on October 29.

    According to Kenneth Blomstedt, vice president of ship manufacturer Electric Boat, the submarine performed "superbly during recent tests at sea."

    Commander Jess Porter has reportedly described the Illinois as a "stealthy weapon" that can "influence adversaries in a way that makes the US more secure." Porter will command a crew of 130 men, as the ship conducts additional testing.

    "Every submarine counts," says Captain Michael Stevens, the Navy's Virginia-class program manager. "Every submarine is needed out there."

    Military.com says that first lady Michelle Obama, "who made it a priority to support military families," traditionally christened the ship by breaking a bottle of champagne across the submarine's bow last year.

    The USS Illinois is the 13th Virginia-class submarine to be built. The Navy has reportedly ordered 15 more Virginia-class submarines, and 10 of those are currently under construction. The final ship is expected to be delivered to the US Navy in 2014.



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