The US Navy has christened the future Virginia-class submarine USS Massachusetts (SSN 798) at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division in Newport News, Virginia.

The future USS Massachusetts is the ninth US Navy vessel named after the state of Massachusetts.

The christening took place at a ceremony outside of Module Outfitting Facility at NNS. The ceremony involved more than 2,000 guests, including NNS employees, US Navy personnel, and members of the submarine’s crew, along with government officials.

NNS President Jennifer Boykin said: “When Massachusetts joins the fleet, she will be the latest in innovation and power, forging ahead in defence of our freedom, just like Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride.

“As SSN 798 supports the Navy’s critical missions around the world, she will carry with her the patriotism of her shipbuilders.”

The USS Massachusetts is the 25th submarine in the Virginia-class and the 12th to be delivered by NNS. 

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In his keynote address, US Navy under secretary Erik Raven said: “From design, to delivery, to employment, each person here is making their vital contribution to maintaining our nation’s maritime dominance and the freedom that we all cherish.

“We are able to deploy exquisite capabilities across the globe in great part to our dedicated shipbuilders. These talented women and men are able to turn raw steel into the world’s most sophisticated undersea capabilities.”

HII completed the pressure hull of SSN 798 in August last year, marking a significant milestone in the construction.

The Virginia-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarines are being built for the US Navy. A total of 38 Virginia-class submarines have been ordered by the service through fiscal year 2023 (FY23).

The submarines are capable of perform a wide range of open-ocean and littoral missions.

Designed with stealth, firepower, mobility and endurance capabilities, these warships support national maritime strategies such as power projection, sea control, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.