Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony today in Jersey City, New Jersey, to announce that SSN 796, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS New Jersey.
Mabus told the audience the submarine will be named to honor the long-standing history its namesake state has had with the Navy. New Jersey was where USS Holland, the Navy’s first submarine, was designed and constructed in October 1900.
“New Jersey’s relationship with our Navy has been defined by innovation, leadership, and courage- in conquest and in combat.” said Mabus. “The name of our newest nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine will carry on that strong tradition.”
Since the creation of that first submarine, two naval ships have been named New Jersey – a battleship commissioned in1906 which was part of the famed Great White Fleet and another battleship commissioned in 1943 – making SSN 796 the third naval ship to bear the name New Jersey.
“As we sail deeper into the 21st century it is time for another USS New Jersey, time to keep that storied name alive in our Navy and Marine Corps,” said Mabus. “She will sail the world like those who have gone before her, defending the American people and representing our American values through presence.
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.