Latest Virginia-Class Submarine Named

submarine

By MarEx 2015-05-24 20:01:07

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony over the weekend 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, said the U.S. Department of Defense. They will have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.

The 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.

Technological Superiority

With the number of foreign diesel-electric/air-independent propulsion submarines increasing yearly, the United States Submarine Force relies on its technological superiority and the speed, endurance, mobility, stealth and payload afforded by nuclear power to retain its preeminence in the undersea battlespace.

The Navy has three classes of submarines in service. Los Angeles (SSN 688)-class submarines are the backbone of the submarine force with 41 now in commission. Thirty Los Angeles-class submarines are equipped with 12 Vertical Launch System tubes for firing Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Navy also has three Seawolf-class submarines. Commissioned on July 19, 1997, USS Seawolf (SSN 21) is exceptionally quiet, fast, well-armed, and equipped with advanced sensors. Though lacking Vertical Launch Systems, the Seawolf class has eight torpedo tubes and can hold up to 50 weapons in its torpedo room. 

The third ship of the class, USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), has a 100-foot hull extension called the multi-mission platform. This hull section provides for additional payloads to accommodate advanced technology used to carry out classified research and development and for enhanced warfighting capabilities.

The Virginia (SSN 774) class has several innovations that significantly enhance its warfighting capabilities with an emphasis on littoral operations. Virginia class submarines have a fly-by-wire ship control system that provides improved shallow-water ship handling. The class has special features to support special operations forces (SOF), including a reconfigurable torpedo room which can accommodate a large number of SOF and all their equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads. 

The class also has a large lock-in/lock-out chamber for divers. In Virginia-class submarines, traditional periscopes have been supplanted by two photonics masts that host visible and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms. With the removal of the barrel periscopes, the ship's control room has been moved down one deck and away from the hull's curvature, affording it more room and an improved layout that provides the commanding officer with enhanced situational awareness. 

Additionally, through the extensive use of modular construction, open architecture, and commercial off-the-shelf components, the Virginia class is designed to remain state-of-the-practice for its entire operational life through the rapid introduction of new systems and payloads.

As part of the Virginia-class' third, or Block III, contract, the Navy redesigned approximately 20 percent of the ship to reduce their acquisition costs. Most of the changes are found in the bow where the traditional, air-backed sonar sphere has been replaced with a water-backed Large Aperture Bow (LAB) array which reduces acquisition and life-cycle costs while providing enhanced passive detection capabilities.

The new bow also replaces the 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with two 87-inch Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. The VPTs simplify construction, reduce acquisition costs, and provide for more payload flexibility than the smaller VLS tubes due to their added volume.
 
General Characteristics, Virginia class

Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. - Newport News Shipbuilding.
Date Deployed: USS Virginia commissioned October 3, 2004
Propulsion: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: 377 feet (114.8 meters)
Beam: 33 feet (10.0584 meters)
Displacement: Approximately 7,800 tons (7,925 metric tons) submerged
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour, 46.3+ kph)
Crew: 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles, twelve VLS tubes, MK48 ADCAP torpedoes, four torpedo tubes.

Ships:
USS Virginia (SSN 774), Portsmouth, NH
USS Texas (SSN 775), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS Hawaii (SSN 776), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS North Carolina (SSN 777), Pearl Harbor, HI
USS New Hampshire (SSN 778), Groton, CT
USS New Mexico (SSN 779), Groton, CT
USS Missouri (SSN 780), Groton, CT
USS California (SSN 781), Groton, CT
USS Mississippi (SSN 782), Groton, CT
USS Minnesota (SSN 783), Norfolk, VA
North Dakota (SSN 784), No homeport - Construction began March 2009. Christened 2 November 2013.
John Warner (SSN 785), No homeport - Construction began March 2010
Illinois (SSN 786) - Construction began in March 2011.
Washington (SSN 787) - No homeport, construction began in September 2011
Colorado (SSN 788) - No homeport, construction began in March 2012.
Indiana (SSN 789) - No homeport, construction began September 2012.
South Dakota (SSN 790) - Under contract.
Delaware (SSN 791) - Under contract.
 
General Characteristics, Seawolf class

Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.
Date Deployed: USS Seawolf commissioned July 19, 1997
Propulsion: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: SSNs 21 and 22: 353 feet (107.6 meters)
SSN 23: 453 feet (138.07 meters)
Beam: 40 feet (12.2 meters)
Displacement: SSNs 21 and 22: 9,138 tons (9,284 metric tons) submerged;
SSN 23 12,158 tons (12,353 metric tons) submerged
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour, 46.3+ kph)
Crew: 140: 14 Officers; 126 Enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles, MK48 torpedoes, eight torpedo tubes.
 
General Characteristics, Los Angeles class

Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co.; General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.
Date Deployed: Nov 13, 1976 (USS Los Angeles)
Propulsion: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: 360 feet (109.73 meters)
Beam: 33 feet (10.06 meters)
Displacement: Approximately 6,900 tons (7011 metric tons) submerged
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour, 46.3 +kph)
Crew: 16 Officers; 127 Enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles, VLS tubes (SSN 719 and later), MK48 torpedoes, four torpedo tubes.