Christening of Dakota

The U.S. Navy christened its newest attack submarine, the future USS South Dakota (SSN-790), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, October 14, at General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

Ship sponsor, Deanie Dempsey, christens the USS South Dakota
Ship sponsor, Deanie Dempsey, christens the USS South Dakota

Governor of South Dakota Dennis Daugaard delivered the ceremony’s principal address. The submarine’s sponsor is Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, wife of the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. The ceremony was highlighted by Mrs. Dempsey breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored U.S. Navy tradition.

«Today’s christening of South Dakota brings this submarine one step closer to joining our strong fleet», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «For decades to come, this boat and the Sailors who will serve on it will stand as a tribute to the patriotic people of South Dakota and a testament to the value of the partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industry teammates».

USS South Dakota, a Virginia-class submarine designated SSN-790, is the third ship to bear the state’s name. The second ship was a battleship that stood as the lead ship of her class and earned 13 battle stars during her extensive service in the Pacific theater during World War II.

USS South Dakota (SSN-790) is the 17th Virginia-class attack submarine and the seventh Virginia-class Block III submarine. The ship began construction in 2013 and is contracted to deliver in August 2018. USS South Dakota (SSN-790) will provide the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

Block III Virginia-class submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.

The USS South Dakota crew poses at the site of SSN 790’s construction in Groton, Connecticut
The USS South Dakota crew poses at the site of SSN 790’s construction in Groton, Connecticut

 

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 7,800 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 2 × 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)
The official crest for the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) includes a wide variety of imagery representing South Dakota and its history
The official crest for the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) includes a wide variety of imagery representing South Dakota and its history

 

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 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB 10-14-17
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

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