Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship-naming ceremony Sept. 18 to announce that SSN 792, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Vermont.
Mabus named the submarine to honor the longstanding partnership its namesake state has had with the Navy.
“From our nation’s beginning, the people of Vermont have tirelessly supported our Navy, enabling us to become the unparalleled fighting force we are today,” said Mabus. “I am here on the banks of Lake Champlain, to once again honor the sailors and Marines who have come from this great state, and to honor your support of our Navy and Marine Corps and your naval history.”
Vermont’s Lake Champlain was the site of two critical historic naval battles. Under the command of Commodore Benedict Arnold, the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island had a profound impact on the outcome of the Revolutionary War, and during the War of 1812, the U.S. defended Lake Champlain against invasion from Great Britain in the Battle of Plattsburgh.
“The name USS Vermont has a long history in our Navy,” said Mabus. “In honor of the victories on Lake Champlain, following the War of 1812, the first USS Vermont was laid down and became one of our nation’s largest and most powerful ships. The second USS Vermont was one of our great battleships in the years before World War I, and was one of the ships that led the Great White Fleet around the world.”
This is the first ship named for Vermont since 1920 when the second USS Vermont was decommissioned.
Virginia-class submarines have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities, and special warfare enhancements that enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements.
Virginia-class submarines 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; mine delivery and minefield mapping. They are also designed for special forces delivery and support.
Each Virginia-class submarine is 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. It is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time. The submarine will be built in partnership with General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corp. in Groton, Connecticut.