Keel laying ceremony

The U.S. Navy held a keel laying ceremony for the Virginia-class submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795) at General Dynamics Electric Boat, May 11.

U.S. Navy & GDEB Laid Keel of Future USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)
U.S. Navy & GDEB Laid Keel of Future USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)

The initials of the submarine’s sponsor, Darleen Greenert, were welded onto a steel plate that will be permanently affixed to the submarine. She is the wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert (retired).

Admiral Frank Caldwell, Jr., director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, stated, «Admiral Rickover’s gift to our Nation’s defense – safe, reliable, and militarily superior naval nuclear propulsion – is as vital to our warfighting edge today as it was at the beginning of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program 70 years ago. The U.S. Navy and our nation are proud to honor his achievements and legacy with this submarine».

The submarine began construction on September 30, 2015 and is on track to continue the Virginia-class program’s trend of delivering quality submarines within budget and ready for tasking by the fleet.

This will be the second submarine to be named after Admiral Hyman G. Rickover to honor the pioneer of the nuclear navy. The first submarine named for the admiral was the Los Angeles-Class submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), which served from 1984 to 2006.

Admiral Rickover served for 63 years on active duty service, making him the longest serving member of the U.S. armed forces in history. In the late 1940’s, Admiral Rickover was made director of the Naval Reactors Branch of the Bureau of Ships and he subsequently led the efforts to develop what would become the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. Admiral Rickover also established and enforced strict safety standards, leading to the U.S. Navy’s safety record of over 162,000,000 miles safely steamed on nuclear power.

Other Virginia-class milestones this year include the commissioning of the USS Indiana (SSN-789) and the combined keel laying and christening of USS Vermont (SSN-792), both currently projected to occur in the fall.

This next-generation attack submarine provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

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; 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.

Badge of the future Virginia-Class submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)
Badge of the future Virginia-Class submarine USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795)


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 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


Nuclear Submarine Lineup


Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB Under Construction
SSN-793 Oregon EB Under Construction
SSN-794 Montana NNS Under Construction
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 Arkansas NNS On Order
SSN-801 Utah EB On Order


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