The US Navy will christen its tenth Virginia-class submarine ‘USS Minnesota (SSN 783)’ at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia tomorrow.
US Navy secretary Ray Mabus said: "Naming this submarine Minnesota not only salutes the proud history of military support and contributions made by the people of Minnesota, but will also serve as a testament to the US Navy’s enduring bond with the great state of Minnesota for decades to come."
Designed as an advanced stealth multi-mission nuclear-powered boat, USS Minnesota will provide capabilities required in maintaining the US Navy’s undersea interests well into the 21st century.
Featuring stealth and sophisticated surveillance capabilities, USS Minnesota will boast improved and special warfare enhancements.
The 377ft-long SSN 783 submarine supports a range of missions, which include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, special operations, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
In addition to providing five of the six navy maritime strategy core capabilities, the 7,800t submarine can support missions in both shallow littoral regions and deep waters.
General Dynamics Electric Boat and HII-built USS Minnesota can cruise at a submerged speed of 25k with a beam of 34ft, while carrying a crew of approximately 134.
The anechoic coatings, isolated deck structures and a new design of propulsion enable Virginia-class boats to achieve a low acoustic signature.
The submarine can operate without refuelling during its planned life with the help of a nuclear reactor plant, which reduces lifecycle costs and increases underway time.
Image: The US Navy’s Virginia-class submarine. Photo: file image.