Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 22, 2010

America’s Next Virginia-class Submarine is Christened

The US is building a new class of submarine–the Virginia class (SSN 774). It’s”

USS Virginia during brave sea trials

  • cheaper (only $2.3 billion per sub rather than $2.8 billion for a Seawolf sub)
  • for shallow waters ( littoral environments), closer to shore, where Seawolf was for open ocean
  • optimized for special operations (with the ASDS dock)
  • slower that Seawolf
  • carries fewer weapons that Seawolf
  • less capable that Seawolf in diving depth and arctic operations
  • incorporates a vertical launch system (launch missiles from the deck)
  • improved surveillance

If you haven’t heard about them, the only reason is that you’re not plugged into the Navy community.

Navy Christens Newest Virginia-Class Submarine– the Missouri

By Lt. Patrick Evans, Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) — With the spray of bubbly from a champagne bottle, PCU Missouri (SSN 780), the Navy’s newest Virginia-class attack submarine, was christened during a late morning ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., Dec. 5.

Missouri, the fifth Navy ship to be named in honor of the people of the “Show Me State,” is “a link in the honored chain of ships to bear the name; another chapter in the storied history of the Naval service,” said Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus.

SECNAV and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates were among the many dignitaries and guests who attended the ceremony.

“We gather for this christening with the knowledge that Missouri’s service builds upon a proud lineage of her namesake,” said U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, the principal speaker for the event. “We gather in the belief that her service to our country – silent as it may be – will keep Americans safe by deterring would-be aggressors. We also gather today to confidently set the tone for the character of this submarine, which will sail with one foot in her proud past, but with an eye toward the future and all the potential that it holds.”

Becky Gates, wife of the secretary of defense, serves as ship’s sponsor. She broke the traditional champagne bottle against the boat’s sail. Her initials were welded into a plaque inside the boat during last year’s keel laying ceremony.



  1. Just for the record, the Missouri is the *seventh* VA-class boat, not the second.

    Virginia (774)
    Texas (775)
    Hawaii (776)
    North Carolina (777)
    New Hampshire (778)
    New Mexico (779)
    Missouri (780)


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  3. […] America’s Next Virginia-class Submarine is Christened […]


  4. […] America’s Next Virginia-class Submarine is Christened […]


  5. […] America’s Next Virginia-class Submarine is Christened […]


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