First US Navy's 21st Century Submarine Commissioned

Released on Friday, October 22, 2004
United States of America
SSN 21 Seawolf
SSN 688 Los Angeles
SSN 774 Virginia
Tactical Tomahawk
USS - United States Ship
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.

The 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 as terrorism.

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 multi-mission requirement.

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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