News Release

No. 399-99
IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 1, 1999 (703)697-5737(public/industry)


A keel laying ceremony for the lead ship in the Navy's new attack submarine class will be held Thursday, Sept. 2 at noon EDT. The ceremony for VIRGINIA (SSN 774) will be hosted by Electric Boat at their Quonset Point Facility in North Kingstown, R.I.

Sen. John W. Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will inscribe his initials on the keel of the submarine, which is named for his home state, and will serve as the principal speaker. Navy Adm. Frank L. Bowman, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, will deliver remarks and introduce Warner. This is the sixth ship of the U.S. Navy to carry

the name Virginia which started with the original USS VIRGINIA in 1777.

The Navy's next-generation attack submarine, the VIRGINIA class, will provide the U.S. Navy with the capability required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. VIRGINIA will have improved stealthiness, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements which will enable it to meet the Navy's multi-mission


VIRGINIA will be able to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters and other sea forces. Other missions VIRGINIA will conduct include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, special forces delivery and support, and mine delivery and minefield mapping. With enhanced

communications connectivity, VIRGINIA also will provide important battle group and joint task force support, with full integration into carrier battle group operations.

The VIRGINIA class attack submarines surpass the performance of any current or projected threat submarine, ensuring United States undersea dominance well into the next century.