The Navy’s newest fast attack submarine was commissioned Oct. 7 during an 11 a.m. (EDT) at Naval Station Norfolk.

When and where was the commissioning ceremony?

The commissioning ceremony will be held at Pier 12 on Oct. 7, 2017 starting at 11 a.m. (EDT).

How many other SSNs does the U.S. Navy currently have?

There are currently three classes of SSNs (attack submarines) in service (49 in total).

What makes the Virginia class different?

The Virginia-class submarines are better capable to operate in littoral waters. They additionally can be configured to support special operations forces (SOF) by converting a torpedo room into an area for SOF personnel and their equipment.

Additionally, diving operations can occur with greater ease due to a large lock-in/lock-out chamber for divers. Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other design changes that reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

How much did this submarine cost to build?

$2.6 billion.

Where was the Washington constructed?

Virginia-class submarines are built under a construction contract between General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. GD Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding are the only two U.S. shipyards capable of building nuclear-powered vessels.

When was construction started?

Sept. 2, 2011 in Newport News, Virginia

When was the keel laid?

Nov. 11, 2014 in Newport News, Virginia

When was the ship christened?

March 15, 2016 in Newport News, Virginia

When did the PCU Washington pass the required inspections by the Navy?

Washington successfully completed the independent Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) trials, which evaluates the submarine’s seaworthiness and operational capabilities.

During INSURV trials, the crew took the submarine to test depth and tested the submarine’s propulsion plant and material readiness. The sub was delivered to the Navy on May 25, 2017.

Who is the USS Washington’s sponsor?

The sponsor of Virginia-class submarine Washington (SSN 787) is Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

Elisabeth Mabus was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in History and Literature from Harvard, Elisabeth joined President Obama’s reelection campaign as a Field Organizer in Colorado.

After the campaign, Elisabeth moved to Washington, DC. There, she worked for the Department of Health and Human Services as a Special Assistant for the Office for Early Childhood Development.

In 2014, Elisabeth returned to Colorado to manage a Secretary of State campaign, and subsequently work on successful ballot initiatives, and consult for campaigns. Since then, Elisabeth has enrolled as a Juris Doctor candidate at Harvard Law School.

When was the ship named?

Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Feb. 7, 2013 that SSN 787, the 14th Virginia-class submarine, would be named after the state of Washington.

How long is the PCU Washington?

377 ft.

How wide is the PCU Washington?

34 ft.

What is the displacement of the PCU Washington?

Approximately 7,800 tons submerged.

How fast can the PCU Washington go?

25+ knots submerged.

What history does the USS Washington name have in the Navy?

There have been 3 ships in the U.S. Navy named after the state of Washington.

The first USS Washington (ACR 11), a Tennessee-class armored cruiser, named for the state, later renamed Seattle and reclassified (CA-11) then (IX-39), was laid down Sept. 23, 1903 at Camden, New Jersey, by the New York Shipbuilding Company. USS Washington launched March 18, 1905. The ship was renamed Seattle on Nov. 9, 1916, in order that her original name might be used for the new Colorado-class battleship USS Washington (BB 47).

USS Washington (BB 47), a Colorado-class battleship, was the second ship of the U.S. Navy named in honor of the 42nd state. Though this ship never completed construction. Her keel was laid June 30, 1919 at Camden, New Jersey, by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. It was launched Sept. 1, 1921. On Feb. 8, 1922, two days after the signing of the Washington Naval Treaty for the Limitation of Naval Armaments, all construction work ceased on the 75.9 percent completed super-dreadnought. Ultimately, its incomplete hulk was towed out to sea, where it was sunk as a gunnery target Nov. 26, 1924 by the battleships New York and Texas.

USS Washington (BB 56) was laid down June 14, 1938 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. It launched June 1, 1940, was sponsored by Virginia Marshall, of Spokane, Washington, a direct descendant of former Chief Justice Marshall. It was commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on May 15, 1941. Capt. Howard H. J. Benson was in command.

On Nov. 15, 1942, Washington engaged the Japanese Battleship Kirishima, in the first head-to-head confrontation of battleships in the Pacific theater. USS Washington was defending the invasion of Guadalcanal in what became the Battle of Savo Island. Washington sent 75 rounds of 16-inch and 107 rounds of 5-inch at ranges from 8,400 to 12,650 yards, scoring at least nine hits with its main battery and about 40 with her 5-inchers, silencing the enemy battleship in short order.

USS Washington went on to fight in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Then, Washignton’s heavy guns supported the taking of Peleliu and Angaur in the Palaus. Washington, as a vital unit of the fast carrier striking forces, supported raids on Okinawa, in the Ryukyus; Formosa; Luzon; Camranh Bay, French Indochina; Saigon, French Indochina; Hong Kong; Canton; Hainan Island; NanseiShoto.

Washington’s heavy rifles hurled 16-inch shells shoreward in support of the landings on Iwo Jima. Washington lent it support to the shelling of Japanese positions on the island of Okinawa.

Load comments