On Saturday, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter will attend the christening of the newest Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, SSN-778 NEW HAMPSHIRE, in Groton, CT.
The Virginia-class submarines are the latest generation of attack submarines, capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, torpedoes, and autonomous undersea vehicles from anywhere in the world. The NEW HAMPSHIRE is the newest of this class, and it is equipped with cutting edge sonar systems and specialized accommodations for SEALs teams – the Navy’s elite special operations component.
The designation of SSN-778 as the NEW HAMPSHIRE stems from a letter writing campaign undertaken by third-grade students from Garrison Elementary School in Dover. (Click here to see article.)
Cheryl McGuinness of Portsmouth will christen the submarine. Her husband Tom was a pilot of American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11, 2001. Mrs. McGuiness will give brief remarks at the event. Congresswoman Shea-Porter and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) will speak at the ceremony and will be available for press following the formal events.
In addition to hosting the formal commissioning ceremony, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is also scheduled to perform the first maintenance work on NEW HAMPSHIRE in 2014, but will accept the first in class, SSN-774 USS VIRGINIA, in October 2010 at a new waterfront support facility to be built with funding secured in part by Shea-Porter.
In October, the Navy is expected to officially declare NEW HAMPSHIRE operational at its commissioning ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard , when it will officially earn the designation of United States Ship (USS).
Saturday’s christening ceremony continues a long Navy tradition stemming from the 1797 christening of USS Constitution in Boston. The event marks the formal transfer of the vessel to the Navy from the builders, Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Ship Systems.
Media access is restricted, so interested parties should contact our office at the as soon as possible.
SSN-778 PCU New Hampshire
Displacement: 7,925 metric tons submerged
Length: 377 feet
Beam: 34 feet
Maximum Depth: +800 feet
Maximum Speed: +25 knots
Crew: 14 Officers; 120 Enlisted (Plus SEALs)
Weapons Accompaniment: Tomahawk cruise missiles
Mark-48 Advanced Capability Torpedoes
Advanced Mobile Mines
Unmanned Underwater Vehicles
Cost: App. $2.3 billion
DATE: Saturday, June 21, 2008
TIME: 11:00 am EST
LOCATION: Electric Boat Corporation - Groton, CT