SEATTLE – Washington state will soon have a U.S. Navy submarine named after it.
The Department of Defense announced the USS Washington, SSN 787, is one of five Virginia-class attack submarines to be named after states. The Puget Sound area is home to the Navy’s third-largest fleet concentration.
"With the Puget Sound one of the Navy's largest and most important homes for the fleet, the name USS Washington is a fitting homage to our state's strong and time-honored legacy of service," said Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash. "It's been more than 50 years since a Navy ship has borne the name Washington in honor of our state. I'm glad that will now change."
The Navy did not say if the number designation was on purpose due to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, but it appears to be a coincidence.
"From the Boeing Everett Factory to the shipyards in Virginia where the Washington is now under construction, that number stands as a symbol of pride and of the strength of our state, our workers and our service members," said Larsen.
The other subs will be the USS Illinois (SSN 786), USS Colorado (SSN 788), USS Indiana (SSN 789) and USS South Dakota (SSN 790).
"Each of these five states serves as home to military bases that support our national defense and provides men and women who volunteer to serve their country," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "I look forward to these submarines joining the fleet and representing these great states around the world."
The DOD did not say when the sub would be commissioned.
The following is an excerpt from the DOD press release.
These submarines will have the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. They are also designed for special forces delivery and support.
Each Virginia-class submarine is 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. It is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.
General Characteristics, Virginia-Class attack submarine:
- Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. - Newport News Shipbuilding.
- Propulsion: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
- Length: 377 feet (114.8 meters)
- Beam: 33 feet (10.0584 meters)
- Displacement: Approximately 7,800 tons (7,925 metric tons) submerged
- Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour, 46.3+ kph)
- Crew: 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
- Armament: Tomahawk missiles, twelve VLS tubes, MK48 ADCAP torpedoes, four torpedo tubes.
There have been ten naval vessels named Washington, but only three have been in recognition of the Evergreen State.
- The USS Washington (ACR-11), a Tennessee-class armored cruiser, launched in 1905. She was renamed the USS Seattle in 1916 and decommissioned in 1946.
- The USS Washington (BB-47), a Colorado-class battleship was launched in 1921, but all construction stopped a year later after the signing of the Washington Treaty for the Limitation of Naval Armaments. The ship was sunk as a gunnery target in 1924.
- The USS Washington (BB-56), a North Carolina-class battleship was launched in 1940. She served in both the Atlantic and Pacific in World War II, including the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942. She was decommissioned in 1947.