Home Americas US Navy christens attack submarine named after “father of the nuclear navy”

US Navy christens attack submarine named after “father of the nuclear navy”

Virginia-class Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) christening ceremony
Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) during its christening ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard facility in Groton, Conn., July 31, 2021. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy christened future USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795), its newest Virginia-class attack submarine, during a ceremony at General Dynamics’ Electric Boat shipyard facility in Groton, Connecticut, July 31.

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.

Rickover, known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy,” served in the navy for 63 years on active duty. His views touched matters of design, propulsion, education, personnel and professional standards. His team of engineers designed and constructed the first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN 571). This accomplishment led to the world’s preeminent fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.

“The future USS Hyman G. Rickover will play an important role in defending our nation during this time of strategic competition. It stands as proof of what teamwork – from civilian to contractor to military – can accomplish,” said Adm. James Caldwell, director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, who served as the principal speaker for the christening ceremony.

Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) is a Block IV Virginia-class submarine built under a contract from 2014. The main advantage of Block IV submarines is that they will require three major maintenance periods instead of their predecessors’ four. This will allow them to put in an extra deployment during their service life.

Rickover will eventually joint the fleet with a displacement of 7,835 tons, crew of 132, and a weapons payload of 12 vertical launch systems and four torpedo tubes.

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.