Keel laying for Dakota

Construction on the new USS South Dakota (SSN-790) submarine kicked off Monday, April 4, with the official keel-laying ceremony. During the keel-laying ceremony, Mrs. Dempsey, the ship’s sponsor, etched her initials into the keel plate, verifying that the «keel has been truly and fairly laid». The submarine will officially be christened in Summer 2017. The PCU South Dakota will be commissioned for service and officially become the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) in August 2018.

USS South Dakota (SSN-790) has been used to test acoustic superiority measures
USS South Dakota (SSN-790) has been used to test acoustic superiority measures

This ship is the seventh of the Block III subs which will feature a revised bow, including some technology from Ohio-class SSGNs. The USS South Dakota (SSN-790), a new submarine named for the famed battleship of World War II, USS South Dakota (BB-57), ceremonially started the building process at the General Dynamics-Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Conn.

Navy is building an upcoming Virginia-class attack submarine, the future USS South Dakota (SSN-790), with acoustic superiority features: a large vertical array, a special coating and machinery quieting improvements inside the boat.

The keel-laying ceremony is a formal event that signifies the start of building a new vessel. Historically, it marked the time when the keel – or the «backbone» of the ship – was set up so that builders could start putting together the ship from the bottom up.

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles 12 individual VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes or two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

Stern of the Virginia-class submarine USS South Dakota (SSN-790) under construction in Newport News. Several stories tall, the stern will propel the sub underwater at 25 plus knots and withstand depths in excess of 800 feet (Photo by Chris Oxley)
Stern of the Virginia-class submarine USS South Dakota (SSN-790) under construction in Newport News. Several stories tall, the stern will propel the sub underwater at 25 plus knots and withstand depths in excess of 800 feet (Photo by Chris Oxley)

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

Block I

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-774 Virginia EB 8-16-03 10-23-04 Portsmouth, New Hampshire
SSN-775 Texas NNS 7-31-05 9-9-06 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-776 Hawaii EB 6-19-06 5-5-07 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-777 North Carolina NNS 4-21-07 5-3-08 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

EB – Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut

NNS – Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia

SSN – Attack Submarine, Nuclear-powered

Shipbuilders install the upper rudder on the submarine USS South Dakota (SSN-790) (Photo by Ricky Thompson)
Shipbuilders install the upper rudder on the submarine USS South Dakota (SSN-790) (Photo by Ricky Thompson)

 

Block II

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-778 New Hampshire EB 6-21-08 10-25-08 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-779 New Mexico NNS 12-13-08 11-21-09 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-780 Missouri EB 12-5-09 7-31-10 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-781 California NNS 11-6-10 10-29-11 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-782 Mississippi EB 12-3-11 6-2-12 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-783 Minnesota NNS 10-27-12 9-7-13 Norfolk, Virginia
Master Shipbuilder Elmer Lundy lays out machining marks on a torpedo tube shutter door for the submarine USS South Dakota (SSN-790) (Photo by Chris Oxley)
Master Shipbuilder Elmer Lundy lays out machining marks on a torpedo tube shutter door for the submarine USS South Dakota (SSN-790) (Photo by Chris Oxley)

 

Block III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB Under Construction
SSN-789 Indiana NNS Under Construction
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS On Order
The stern unit of the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) (Photo by Chris Oxley)
The stern unit of the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) (Photo by Chris Oxley)

 

Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB On Order
SSN-793 Oregon EB On Order
SSN-794 Montana NNS On Order
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB On Order
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS On Order
SSN-797 Iowa EB On Order
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS On Order
SSN-799 Idaho EB On Order
SSN-800 (Unnamed) NNS On Order
SSN-801 Utah EB On Order
The emblem of the South Dakota
The emblem of the South Dakota

Block V

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-802 (Unnamed)
SSN-803 (Unnamed)
SSN-804 (Unnamed)
SSN-805 (Unnamed)
SSN-806 (Unnamed)
SSN-807 (Unnamed)
SSN-808 (Unnamed)
SSN-809 (Unnamed)
SSN-810 (Unnamed)
SSN-811 (Unnamed)
Float off begins for submarine Illinois on Aug. 7, 2015
Float off begins for submarine Illinois on Aug. 7, 2015

Block VI

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-812 (Unnamed)
SSN-813 (Unnamed)
SSN-814 (Unnamed)
SSN-815 (Unnamed)
SSN-816 (Unnamed)
The submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) delivered on June 25, 2015, two and a half months ahead of schedule (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
The submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) delivered on June 25, 2015, two and a half months ahead of schedule (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

 

Block VII

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-817 (Unnamed)
SSN-818 (Unnamed)
SSN-819 (Unnamed)
SSN-820 (Unnamed)
SSN-821 (Unnamed)

 

Leave a Reply