US Navy has christened its Virginia-class attack submarine, SSN 801, as the USS Utah in honour of the history its namesake state has had within the navy.
The attack submarine is the second naval vessel to have been named after Utah, with the first being the battleship BB-31, deployed in 1911.
The sub, SSN-801, is the last of a block of 10 ordered by the Navy in April 2014 from General Dynamics Electric Boat out of Groton, Connecticut, in a $17.6 billion contract. That contract is the largest shipbuilding contract in Navy history, according to officials with Naval Sea Systems Command.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus presided over the naming of the Utah on Tuesday at a ceremony in Salt Lake City.
The future USS Utah will be the second naval vessel to bear the name; the first, a battleship designated BB 31, was commissioned in 1911 and had a long, honorable time in service. The early part of BB 31’s career was spent conducting gunnery and torpedo defense exercises.
The Utah, which cost nearly $2.7 billion to build, is scheduled for delivery to the fleet in 2023.
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. They are designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.