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New Attack Submarine Virginia to be Christened

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS030815-02

Release Date: 8/15/2003 8:42:00 AM

From Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The lead boat of the Navy's next-generation attack submarine, Virginia (SSN 774), will be christened during a ceremony Aug. 16 at Electric Boat Corporation's shipyard in Groton, Conn.

Sen. George Allen of Virginia will deliver the ceremony's principal address for the ship named in honor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Lynda Robb, wife of former Virginia Sen. Charles Robb and daughter of 36th President Lyndon Baines Johnson, will serve as ship's sponsor.

This is the sixth U.S. Navy ship to carry the name Virginia since the original USS Virginia was commissioned in 1777. The most recent USS Virginia was the nuclear powered cruiser CGN 38, which was decommissioned in 1994.

Designed by Electric Boat, the Virginia-class is being built jointly under a teaming arrangement between Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Newport News in Virginia, in coordination with the Navy's Supervisors of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair in Newport News and Groton.

The Virginia-class will provide the U.S. Navy with the capabilities it requires to meet the threats of the 21st century. Virginia will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities, and special warfare enhancements that will enable it to meet the Navy's multimission requirements.

Virginia will be able to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters, or other sea forces. Virginia will also have superior anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare capabilities, provide Special Forces delivery and support, and conduct mine delivery and minefield mapping. With enhanced communications connectivity, Virginia also will provide important battle group and joint task force support, with full integration into carrier strike group operations.

The superior capabilities of Virginia-class will ensure the United States maintains undersea dominance, in both deep and shallow waters, well into this century.

Virginia's prospective commanding officer, Capt. David Kern, a native of Binghampton, N.Y., will lead a crew of approximately 132 officers and enlisted Navy submariners. Virginia is scheduled to be commissioned in July 2004.

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