USS Idaho

The US Navy has christened its newest Virginia-class attack submarine as USS Idaho (SSN 799), in honour of the long-standing history its namesake state has had with the navy.

The future USS Idaho will be the fifth naval vessel to bear the name. The last Idaho was a New Mexico-class battleship launched in 1917.

US Navy Secretary Ray Maybus was quoted by as saying: "One of the reasons I chose Idaho is because you have such a strong connection to the navy and marine corps even though you’re a long way from the ocean.

"Second, you have so many veterans here and people who have been patriotic. And third, you haven’t had a USS Idaho since 1919, and it was time to put that great name back in the fleet."

With a displacement of 7,800t, hull length of 377ft, and a diameter of 34ft, the Virginia-class submarines can cruise at speeds in excess of 25k, while diving to more than 800ft deep.

"The future USS Idaho will be the fifth naval vessel to bear the name."

The Virginia-class submarines will also support a range of warfare missions including anti-submarine, anti-surface ship, strike, irregular and mines, in addition to special operation forces support, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

The vessels will also be able to carry the Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land-attack missiles, and unmanned underwater vehicles.

In addition, the US Navy recently commissioned 12th Virginia-class submarine, John Warner (SSN 785).

John Warner is the first Virginia-class submarine to be named after a person, Senator John W Warner, while the remaining submarines have been named after US states.

Image: Ray Maybus signs a graphic representation of USS Idaho (SSN 799) during its ship-naming ceremony at the West Idaho state fair. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 2nd class Armando Gonzales / Released.