PCU (Pre-Commissioned Unit) California (SSN-781), is the eighth Virginia-class submarine, and the eighth United States Navy ship named for the state of California. The contract to build her was awarded to Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard (then called Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.) in Newport News, Virginia, on 14 August 2003. Construction began in December 2006. California‘s keel was laid down on 1 May 2009. She was christened on 6 November 2010, sponsored by Donna Willard, wife of Admiral Robert F. Willard. She was launched eight days later, on 14 November 2010. California is expected to be delivered in 2011.
California will be the first Virginia-class submarine built with the advanced electromagnetic signature reduction system; although it will be retrofitted into older submarines of the class.