The U.S. Navy has christened its newest Virginia-class attack submarine, future USS Oregon (SSN 793), during a ceremony on Saturday, October. 5, at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton.
Politicians, shipyard leaders and Navy officials gathered for a ceremony, where they spoke about the importance of Virginia-class submarines and praised the skills of the thousands of shipyard workers in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia who built the USS Oregon.
Vice Adm. James Kilby said the USS Oregon, outfitted with the most modern weapons and sensors, will disappear beneath the waves and never be detected until a time and place of its choosing. It “truly represents naval combat power,” said Kilby, a deputy chief of naval operations.
The submarine is expected to cost about $2.7 billion and join the fleet next year. It will officially become the USS Oregon when it’s commissioned.
The 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 it helped destroy Admiral Cervera’s fleet and in the Philippine-American War; it performed blockade duty in Manila Bay and off Lingayen Gulf, served as a station ship, and aided in the capture of Vigan.
Oregon’s keel was laid down on 8 July 2017, in a ceremony held at the Quonset Point Facility of General Dynamics Electric Boat in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, with sponsor Mrs. Dana L. Richardson, wife of the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM John Richardson, in attendance.
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.