The US Navy will commission the USS Virginia, the lead ship of the latest class
of attack submarines, Saturday, October 23, 2004, during an 11 AM EST ceremony
at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia.
USS Virginia, SSN 774, is the first US Navy's submarine specifically designed to
counter post-cold war threats and the threats of the twenty-first century such
The modular architecture of Virginia-class hull and weapon system ensures
successful technology and capability upgrade implementations throughout the
entire life of the class. Their improved stealth, sophisticated long-term
surveillance capabilities, special forces delivery, land attack using Tomahawk
missiles, mine laying, mine mapping, shallow water and special warfare
enhancements will enable these ships to meet the US Navy's high demanding
In addition to the full spectrum of missions that can be accomplished by
Virginia-class boats, an unprecedented communications and enhanced connectivity
will allow network centric operations with other US and allied forces. The
nuclear power plant will not require refueling during the planned service life
of the ship (approximately 35 years), increasing availability for duty and
reducing lifecycle costs.
The SSN 774 will be the sixth US Navy ship to carry the name Virginia since the
original Virginia ship was commissioned 227 years ago in 1777, during the 18th
century. The fifth Virginia ship was a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser
that was decommissioned in 1994.
Virginia will be homeported in Groton, Connecticut, as a unit of the US Atlantic
Fleet. She and her sister ships, around 30 boats, will ensure US Navy maintains
undersea dominance well into the 21st century. The Virginia-class submarine
program was born to replace older Los Angeles class attack submarines at lower
prices than $2 billion a unit Seawolf-class boats.
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