Huntington Ingalls Industries laid the keel for the new Virginia-class fast attack submarine Massachusetts, also known as SSN 798, marking the construction milestone through a virtual ceremony held Friday.
The event at HII's Newport News Shipbuilding facility signaled the official start of the submarine development and involved the installation of a steel plate that bore the initials of Sheryl Sandberg, the vessel's sponsor and chief operating officer of Facebook, the company said Friday.
"I am so grateful for the opportunity to build a lifelong bond with this boat and its crew in my role as the sponsor," said Sandberg.
HII and General Dynamics' Electric Boat company began Massachusetts' construction in 2017 and are slated to deliver the vessel to the U.S. Navy in 2023.
The submarine is the 25th Virginia-class vessel built under the two companies' teaming agreement.