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.