WASHINGTON (NNS) — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will host a ship naming ceremony in honor of USS Illinois, June 22, at 2 p.m. CDT at the Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, Ill.
|An artist rendering of the Virginia-class submarine USS Illinois (SSN 786). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Stan Bailey/Released)
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Illinois, a Virginia-class submarine designated SSN 786, is the second Navy vessel to bear the “Prairie State’s” name. The previous Illinois, a battleship (BB 7), circumnavigated the globe as part of the Great White Fleet (1908–1909). Illinois is home to the Navy’s one and only Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes where every enlisted Sailor begins his or her service.
This next-generation attack submarine will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. Virginia-class submarines will have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities, and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements.
The future USS Illinois will have the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land area, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. It is also designed for special forces delivery and support.
SSN 786 will be built at Electric Boat in Groton, Conn, will be 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length, have a beam of 34 feet, and 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. Virginia-class submarines are built under a unique teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News.