First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama, is set to christen the US Navy’s newest and most advanced nuclear attack submarine, Illinois (SSN-786), on 10 October.
Built by General Dynamics Electric Boat, submarine Illinois is the 13th ship of the Virginia-class attack submarine.
The Virginia-class submarine is an advanced stealth multimission nuclear-powered submarine for deep-ocean, anti-submarine warfare and littoral operations.
With a displacement of 7,800t, hull length of 377ft, and a diameter of 34ft, the submarines can cruise at speeds in excess of 25k, while diving to more than 800ft deep.
These submarines are designed to support a range of warfare missions, including anti-submarine, anti-surface ship, strike, irregular and mines, as well as special operation forces support, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
In addition, these vessels will be armed with the Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land-attack missiles, and unmanned underwater vehicles.
In August this year, the US Navy christened another Virginia-class attack submarine as USS Idaho (SSN 799).
The future USS Idaho will be the fifth naval vessel to bear the name in honour of the long-standing history its namesake state has had with the navy.
In collaboration with Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division, Electric Boat has delivered 12 Virginia-class submarines. Currently, another nine submarines of this class are under construction.
In April 2014, GD Electric Boat received a $17.6bn, multi-year block IV contract from the US Navy for the construction of ten Virginia-class submarines.
Image: Michelle Obama will christen the US Navy’s nuclear attack submarine, Illinois (SSN-786), at GD’s facility in Groton, Connecticut. Photo: courtesy of General Dynamics Corporation.