The Navy will christen its newest attack submarine Mississippi, Saturday, Dec. 3, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn. The Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Allison Stiller, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for ship programs, is the ship’s sponsor.
The naming of Mississippi, designated SSN 782, recognizes the state’s long-standing tradition of shipbuilding in support of our nation’s defense. It also honors the spirit of the people of Mississippi who have made great strides in recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Mississippi is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Adept at operating in both the world’s shallow littoral regions and deep waters, Mississippi will directly enable five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities -- sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.
There have been four previous ships named Mississippi. Most notable, the first, a side wheeler, served as Commodore Matthew Perry’s flagship for his historic voyage to Japan and fought with Adm. David Farragut’s forces on the Mississippi River during the Civil War.
Capt. John McGrath, a native of Neptune, N.J., and a 1990 graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, will be the ship’s commanding officer, leading a crew of approximately 142 officers and enlisted personnel.
The 7,800-ton Mississippi is built under a teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. It is 377 feet long, has a 33-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet, and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. Mississippi is designed with a nuclear reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship -- reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.
The christening will be carried live at http://www.gdeb.com and the link will become active on the morning of Dec. 3.
Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. For more information, visit: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4100&tid=100&ct=4 .