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Navy Announces Submarine to be Named Massachusetts
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Nov. 8 that SSN 798, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Massachusetts during a taped video message at Gillette Stadium.
Mabus named the future Massachusetts to honor the history its namesake state has with the Navy. This history extends to 1775, before the official founding of the United States, to the time when George Washington founded the Continental Navy in an effort to protect the 13 colonies from British attack. By 1800, six years after the establishment of the Department of the Navy, one of its first 14 shipyards was incorporated in Boston. And in 1836, The Boston Naval Hospital, one of the first of three hospitals dedicated solely to the care of naval personnel, opened.
"A ship's naming is the first milestone in bringing it to life, and here continues the long tradition of strong connection between the people of Massachusetts and our Navy,” said Mabus.
The future USS Massachusetts will be the fifth Navy vessel to serve under that name. Virginia-class attack submarines provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.
These submarines 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-surface 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. They are 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 under a unique teaming agreement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division wherein both companies build certain portions of each submarine and then alternate deliveries. Massachusetts will be delivered by Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding.