Christening of Delaware

The U.S. Navy christened the attack submarine, the future USS Delaware (SSN-791), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, October 20, 2018, at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, in Newport News, Virginia.

Newport News Shipbuilding christened Virginia-class submarine Delaware
Newport News Shipbuilding christened Virginia-class submarine Delaware

The principal speaker was United States Senator Tom Carper from Delaware. Doctor Jill Biden, former second lady of the United States, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow and state, «In the name of the United States, I christen thee».

«Today’s christening marks an important milestone in the life of the future USS Delaware (SSN-791), moving the submarine from a mere hull number to a boat with a name and spirit», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Richard V. Spencer. «This submarine honors the contributions and support the state of Delaware has given to our military and will stand as a testament to the increased capabilities made possible through a true partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industry teammates».

The future USS Delaware, designated SSN-791, is the seventh ship to bear the name of «The First State». The first Delaware served in the American Revolution, the second in the Quasi War with France. The third was burned to prevent her from falling into the hands of the Confederate Navy. The fourth served blockading duties through the end of the Civil War. Little is known about the fifth, other than she was a screw steamer that began life with another name before being renamed Delaware on May 15, 1869. The sixth Delaware was a battleship commissioned April 4, 1910, that served in the Atlantic and Caribbean. During World War I, she provided convoy escort and participated in allied naval exercises. She was decommissioned November 10, 1923.

The future USS Delaware (SSN-791) is the 18th Virginia-class attack submarine and the eighth and final Virginia-class Block III submarine. The ship’s construction began in September 2013 and will deliver in 2019. Delaware will provide 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; 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.

 

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 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 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16 03-17-18 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17 09-29-18 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-790 South Dakota EB 10-14-17
SSN-791 Delaware NNS 10-20-18

 

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