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US Navy to christen Virginia-class future USS Hyman G. Rickover SSN 795 nuclear-powered attack submarine


According to information released by the United States Department of Defense on July 31, 2021, the U.S. Navy christens one of its newest Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines, the future USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) at General Dynamics/Electric Boat, in Groton, Connecticut.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001The pre-commissioning unit (PCU) Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) seen prior to a christening ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard facility in Groton, Conn., July 31, 2021. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


The future USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) is the second nuclear-powered fast attack submarine in recognition of Adm. Rickover. The first Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) was commissioned at Submarine Base, New London, in Groton, on July 21, 1984. SSN 709 and its crew deployed 12 times until its decommissioning in December 2007. Over the years, its decorations included the Atlantic Fleet Golden Anchor Award, Submarine Squadron Eight’s anti-submarine warfare white “A” and engineering red “E” awards and the prestigious Sixth Fleet “Hook ‘Em” award for anti-submarine warfare excellence.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world's littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are replacing Los Angeles-class submarines as they retire.

The U.S. Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) since FY1998 (Fiscal year), and a total of 34 have been procured through FY2021. Since FY2011, Virginia-class boats have been procured at a rate of two per year. Virginia-class boats scheduled for procurement in FY2019-FY2023 are being procured under a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract.

The U.S. Navy operates three types of submarines including nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), nuclear-powered cruise missile and special operations forces (SOF) submarines (SSGNs), and nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs).

The Virginia class, also known as the SSN-774 class, is a class of nuclear-powered cruise missile fast-attack submarines, in service with the United States Navy. Currently, 18 Virginia-class submarines are in service with the U.S. Navy and seven are under construction.

The U.S. Navy plans to acquire at least 34 Virginia-class submarines, but more recent data provided by the U.S. Naval military sources seem to imply that more than 30 submarines may eventually be built. The Naval Submarine League believes that up to 10 Block V submarines will be built.

In March 2021, Navy Recognition has released news to announce that Huntington Ingalls Industries has been awarded a contract modification in support of the construction of the 10th Virginia-class Block V submarine.

The Virginia-class submarines were built in five variants including Block I, II, III, IV, and V. The Block V will incorporate the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), an additional, 84-foot-long, mid-body section equipped with four large-diameter, vertical launch tubes for storing and launching additional Tomahawk missiles or other payloads. In addition to the VPM, the Navy is introducing acoustic and other improvements to the Virginia-class design that are intended to help maintain the design’s superiority over Russian and Chinese submarines.

The Virginia-class is powered by a GE pressure naval reactor S9G. She can reach a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h) with an unlimited range. The submarine has a crew of 135 people.

The Virginia-class submarine has a length of 115 m, a beam of 10 m, and a displacement of 7,300 tons. Block V has an increased length, from 377 ft (115 m) to 460 ft (140 m), and displacement, from 7,800 tons to 10,200 tons.

The Block I to IV are armed with 12 VLS Vertical Launching System (Tomahawk BGM-109) tubes and four 533 mm torpedo tubes (Mk-48 torpedo), UGM-84 Harpoon, She carries 25 torpedoes & missiles in the torpedo room and 12 missiles in the VLS tubes.

Block V is armed with the VPM module (28 Tomahawk BGM-109), 12 VLS (Tomahawk BGM-109) tubes and four 533 mm torpedo tubes (Mk-48 torpedo), UGM-84 Harpoon. She carries 65 torpedoes and missiles.

According to open-source budget documents, Virginia-class submarines are planned to be equipped with a high-energy laser weapon likely to be incorporated into the photonics mast and have a power output of 300–500 kilowatts, based on the submarine's 30 megawatts reactor capacity.