Christening of Indiana

On April 29, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division celebrated the christening of Indiana (SSN-789), the 16th Virginia-class submarine.

With one strong swing, Ship's Sponsor Diane Donald christened the Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789), witnessed by (from left) Vice President Mike Pence, Indiana Commander Jesse Zimbauer and Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin, and an audience of nearly 4,000 event guests (Photo by Ashley Major/HII)
With one strong swing, Ship’s Sponsor Diane Donald christened the Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789), witnessed by (from left) Vice President Mike Pence, Indiana Commander Jesse Zimbauer and Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin, and an audience of nearly 4,000 event guests (Photo by Ashley Major/HII)

With a single swing, ship’s sponsor Diane Donald performed the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the submarine’s hull. Donald is the wife of Admiral Kirkland Donald (U.S. Navy, Retired), former director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion.

«It’s the honor of a lifetime to be here today», said Donald. «While the size of the submarine alone is stunning, the complexity inside sets it apart from any other machine ever built. These ships are second to none, made in America by truly remarkable Americans».

Vice President Mike Pence, former governor of Indiana, served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Today is the 100th day since he and President Donald Trump assumed office.

«He sent me here today on this historic occasion as a sign of his deep commitment to the Armed Forces of the United States of America, and to his commitment to make the strongest fighting force in the world even stronger still», Pence said of Trump. Speaking to the shipbuilders, he acknowledged their dedication and skill. «You have the gratitude of the commander in chief for your unwavering commitment to your country, your patriotism, your craftsmanship, and rest assured, President Trump will honor your commitment with historic investments in our national defense».

Other ceremony participants included Representative Bobby Scott, Democratic Party-Virginia; Senator Joe Donnelly, Democratic Party-Indiana; Secretary Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy; Vice Admiral Joseph Tofalo, commander, Submarine Forces; Admiral Tom Fargo (U.S. Navy, Retired), chairman of the board, Huntington Ingalls Industries; Mike Petters, president and CEO, Huntington Ingalls Industries; Matt Mulherin, president, Newport News Shipbuilding; and Jeffrey Geiger, president, General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Stackley spoke of the U.S. Navy’s important presence around the world. «More than a hundred U.S. Navy ships are underway, providing assurance to our allies, maintaining persistent surveillance in regions of interest, conducting special operations undetected, safeguarding the choke points of the world, standing poised to assure access to strike if necessary, and providing humanitarian relief if needed. And all the while, Navy ships are serving as the enduring, reliable deterrent that underpins our nation’s security».

Speaking on behalf of the state of Indiana, Donnelly thanked the shipbuilders for their service to the U.S. Navy and the Indiana crew. «This crew is going to be at the very tip of the spear», he said, «and you have given them the tools, the equipment, the ability to accomplish everything».

About 4,000 Newport News shipbuilders have participated in Indiana’s construction in partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat. Construction began in September 2012 and is about 90 percent complete. The submarine is on track to deliver to the U.S. Navy this year.

«It’s hard to describe what it’s like to build one of the most complex machines in the world», said Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin. «For our shipbuilders who do this every day – they can even lose perspective of the contributions they are making to our Navy and to our nation. For them, it’s all part of a day’s work – a long, hard, honest day’s work. However, as you look upon this magnificent vessel, I think you’ll agree, it’s no ordinary job. In fact, it’s pretty extraordinary. Our shipbuilders define what ‘Made in America’ means».

Virginia-class submarines, a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions to replace the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines as they are retired. Virginia-class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth, and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These submarines are capable of supporting multiple mission packages and can operate at submerged speeds of more than 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h for months at a time.

USS Indiana (SSN-789) is Christened
USS Indiana (SSN-789) is Christened

 

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/10.06 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.36 m
Displacement Approximately 7,835 tons/7,961 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

Indiana Christening Ceremony
Indiana Christening Ceremony

 

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

 

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

 

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 10-29-16 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction
Huntington Ingalls Industries Christens Virginia-Class Submarine Indiana at Newport News Shipbuilding
Huntington Ingalls Industries Christens Virginia-Class Submarine Indiana at Newport News Shipbuilding

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