The U.S. Navy will commission its newest nuclear-powered attack submarine Connecticut (SSN 22), at Submarine Base New London, Conn., during a 1 p.m. ceremony Friday.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Mrs. Patricia Rowland, Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland's wife is the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Rowland will give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
Connecticut is the second ship of the Seawolf-class, the most capable attack submarine ever built. With mission and growth capability far beyond previous submarines, the robust design uniquely supports missions such as surveillance, intelligence collection, special warfare, covert cruise missile strike, mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface ship warfare. In addition to its formidable open ocean presence, the Seawolf-class is also a highly capable shallow water warfare platform, setting the standard for submarine technology into the next century. Its inherent stealth, coupled with state-of-the-art sensors and advanced combat systems, make it one of the world's most advanced weapons systems and the benchmark for undersea excellence. Connecticut's flexibility and impressive capabilities provide the Navy with an undersea weapons platform to operate in any scenario against any threat - from under Arctic ice to shallow water.
Armed with the battle-proven Tomahawk cruise missiles, Connecticut can safely conduct deep strike missions while submerged far off an enemy's coast. Connecticut also carries the Mark 48 advanced capability torpedo, the most reliable torpedo in the world for use against surface ships and submarines. Connecticut has twice as many torpedo tubes and 30 percent greater weapons capacity compared to the Los Angeles-class submarines.
This submarine is named for the fifth state of the Union. Four previous U.S. Navy ships have been named Connecticut. The first, a gunboat (1776), participated in the battle of Valcour Island; the second, a sloop-of-war (1799-1801), protected American shipping in the West Indies during the Quasi-War with France; the third, a steamer (1861-1865), contributed to the success of the Union blockade of the Confederacy during the Civil War; the fourth, a battleship (BB 18), took part in the famous world cruise of the "Great White Fleet."
Following its commissioning, Connecticut will join the U.S. Atlantic Fleet with Capt. Larry Davis as the commanding officer. Connecticut will be homeported in Groton, Conn., with a crew of 14 officers and 120 enlisted personnel. The submarine is 353 feet in length, with a 40 foot beam, and displaces approximately 9,138 tons submerged and 8,060 tons surfaced. Connecticut can operate at depths greater than 800 feet, and its nuclear reactor powers the submarine to speeds in excess of 25 knots when submerged.