New U.S. Submarine Christened Illinois
General Dynamics Electric Boat has christened the Illinois (SSN 786), the 13th submarine of the U.S. Navy’s Virginia Class.
The Saturday morning christening ceremony took place at Electric Boat’s Groton shipyard with the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus as the ceremony’s principal speaker. First Lady Michelle Obama is the ship’s sponsor and she christened the ship by breaking a bottle of Illinois sparkling wine against the submarine’s bow before an audience of approximately 7,500 people.
USS Illinois will be delivered to the Navy in 2016.
Virginia-class submarines are among the most effective platforms in the Navy’s portfolio. In addition to anti-submarine, anti-surface ship and counter-mine warfare, Illinois will support surveillance, special operations and covert strike missions.
The Virginia class are the first U.S. Navy combatants designed for the post-Cold War era. Unobtrusive, non-provocative and connected with land, air, sea and space-based assets, Illinois and the other Virginia-class submarines are equipped to wage multi-dimensional warfare around the globe, providing the U.S. Navy with continued dominance in coastal waters or the open ocean.
The new submarine is only the second U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with the name USS Illinois since a battleship with that name was commissioned in 1897.
With its construction partner Newport News Shipbuilding, Electric Boat has delivered 12 Virginia-class submarines; another nine are under construction.