The Navy will christen its newest Virginia-class attack submarine John Warner, Saturday, Sept. 6, during a 6:30 p.m. EDT ceremony at Newport News Shipyard in Newport News, Va.
Former Senator John Warner will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Jeanne Warner, wife of John Warner, will serve as ship's sponsor and break a bottle of sparkling wine against a plate welded to the hull to officially christen the ship John Warner.
“The christening of the future USS John Warner is not only a celebration of a dedicated sailor, Marine and public servant, but also of what has been accomplished in building this powerful warship - of the hard work of the thousands of shipyard workers, engineers, and defense craftsmen who contributed, and of what the future holds for the USS John Warner and the crew who sail aboard her,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
USS John Warner, designated SSN 785, will honor John Warner, the five-term United States Senator from Virginia who served as secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974.
These next-generation attack submarines provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.
The John Warner will have the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; Special Forces delivery and support; and mine delivery and minefield mapping.
Virginia-class submarines weigh 7,800 tons and are 377 feet in length, have a 34-foot beam, 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.
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. To view the ceremony via live webcast, please go to: www.navy.mil.