On April 28, 2014, the Navy awarded the contract for ten Virginia Block IV submarines (SSN 792 through SSN 801) that will include improvements to reduce total ownership costs.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony, 10 October 2017, to announce that SSN 793, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Oregon. During a ceremony held at The Battleship Oregon Memorial in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Mabus announced the submarine will be named to honor the long-standing history its namesake state has had with the Navy. Mabus also recognized USS Portland (LPD 27), which he named last year in honor of Oregon's largest city.
"Sailors and Marines, like the citizens of Oregon throughout history, are pioneers," said Mabus. "They are explorers who are looking willingly toward the unknown, wanting to know what is out over the horizon. As we sail deeper into the 21st century, it is time for another USS Portland and another USS Oregon, time to keep those storied names alive in our Navy and Marine Corps."
Mabus told the crowd SSN 793 will be the third naval ship to bear the name Oregon. The first was a battleship used in the late 1800s. The second was a battleship best known for its roles in the Spanish American War when she helped destroy Admiral Cervera's fleet and in the Philippine-American War; she performed blockade duty in Manila Bay and off Lingayen Gulf, served as a station ship, and aided in the capture of Vigan.
Known for one of the most dramatic voyages ever undertaken by a ship of the U.S. Navy, Oregon sailed over 14,000 miles in 66 days, leaving San Francisco in 1898 and travelling south through the Straits of Magellan until finally arriving at Jupiter Inlet, Florida, where she reported for battle in the Spanish-American War. While the ship demonstrated the capabilities of a heavy battle ship, it also eliminated any opposition to the construction of the Panama Canal, as the country could not afford two months to send warships from one coast to another in times of emergency. Decommissioned in 1906, she was later recommissioned in 1911, and remained in the reserve, until stricken from the Navy list in 1942.
"Oregon holds a special place in the heart the Navy not just because of its long history here, but also because of shared values, those of environmental consciousness, community and heritage," Mabus said. "From our Navy and Marine Corps units who visit for the Rose Festival every year, to the former Sailors and Marines who make their homes here and carry on as community leaders and citizens. The partnership between Oregon and our Navy and Marine Corps is strong."
The next-generation attack submarines will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They will have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.
These submarines will have the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert, long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. They are also designed for special forces delivery and support.
Each Virginia-class submarine is 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. It is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time. The submarine will be built in partnership with General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corp., and will be built by Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut.
The Navy christened its newest attack submarine, the future USS Oregon (SSN 793), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon delivered the ceremony's principal address. The submarine's sponsor is Mrs. Dana Richardson. The ceremony will be highlighted by Mrs. Richardson breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored Navy tradition.
"The future USS Oregon will play an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom," said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. "She stands as proof of what teamwork - from civilian to contractor to military - can accomplish. I am confident USS Oregon and her crew will ensure our Navy remains safe and strong to proudly serve our nation's interest for decades to come."
Oregon (SSN 793) is the 20th Virginia-class attack submarine and the second Virginia-class Block IV submarine. The ship began construction fall of 2014 and is expected to deliver in the fall of 2020. Oregon will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea superiority well into the 21st century.
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