The Navy’s newest attack submarine New Hampshire (SSN 778) will be christened Saturday, June 21, during an 11:00 a.m. EDT ceremony at Electric Boat in Groton, Conn.
Director of Naval Reactors, Adm. Kirkland Donald, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Cheryl McGuinness of Portsmouth, N.H., will serve as New Hampshire’s sponsor. Ms. McGuinness is the widow of Thomas McGuiness, co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11 which was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The highlight of the ceremony will be Ms. McGuinness christening the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine over the submarine, a time honored Navy tradition.
The fifth Virginia-class submarine, New Hampshire is the third ship to honor the Granite State. The first USS New Hampshire was in service from 1846-1921, including service during the Civil War. Later, she was renamed Granite State following decommissioning and was used as a training ship for the New York State Militia. The second USS New Hampshire (1908-1921) was a battleship used for convoy escort duty during World War I and also served as a training ship.
Along with her sister ships, New Hampshire, will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century.
Cmdr. Mike Stevens will become the ship’s first commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel.
The 7,800-ton New Hampshire is built under a teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat (Connecticut) and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding - Newport News (Virginia). She is 337 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged.