The Department of Defense announced today that the Navys newest Seawolf class nuclear-powered submarine Jimmy Carter will be christened Saturday during an 11 a.m. ET ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn.
The submarine, Jimmy Carter, honors the 39th president of the United States. Carter is the only U.S. president to qualify in submarines. He has distinguished himself by a lifetime of public service, and has long ties to the Navy and the submarine force. He is a 1946 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, served as an officer aboard submarines while in uniform, and served as commander-in-chief from 1977-1981. Carter's statesmanship, philanthropy and sense of humanity have made him one of the most influential Americans of the late 20th century.
James R. Schlesinger, a former secretary of both defense and energy and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will deliver the ceremonys principal address. Schlesinger served under Carter as the nations first secretary of energy. Rosalynn Carter will serve as sponsor for the ship named for her husband. In a time honored Navy tradition, Carter will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally name the submarine Jimmy Carter.
The Jimmy Carter is the third and final submarine of the Seawolf class. As the most advanced submarine in the Seawolf class, the submarine will have built-in flexibility and an array of new warfighting features that will enable it to prevail in any scenario, against any threat from beneath Artic ice to shallow water. Differentiating the Jimmy Carter from all other undersea vessels is its multi-mission platform (MMP), which includes a 100-foot hull extension to enhance payload capability. The MMP will enable the Jimmy Carter to accommodate the advanced technology required to develop and test new generation of weapons, sensors and undersea vehicles for naval special warfare, tactical surveillance and mine-warfare operations.
Cmdr. Robert D. Kelso is the ships prospective commanding officer with a crew of approximately 130 officers, chiefs, and enlisted personnel. The 12,130-ton Jimmy Carter is 453 feet in length, has a beam of 40 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. Upon commissioning in 2005, the Jimmy Carter will join the U.S. Pacific Fleet.