The U.S. Navy’s next Virginia-class attack submarine will bear the name USS New Jersey.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced Sunday that a submarine being built now will get that name when it’s completed in about five years. Mabus told the audience the submarine will be named to honor the long-standing history its namesake state has had with the Navy. New Jersey was where USS Holland, the Navy’s first submarine, was designed and constructed in October 1900.
“New Jersey’s relationship with our Navy has been defined by innovation, leadership, and courage- in conquest and in combat.” said Mabus. “The name of our newest nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine will carry on that strong tradition.”
The next-generation attack submarines are designed to provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They will have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements.
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.
General Characteristics, Virginia class
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
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez had been pushing for a ship to be named after his state.
Two battleships have been named the USS New Jersey previously. The most recent one was decommissioned in 1999 and is now docked in Camden and open for tours.
Associated Press contributed to this report