No. 166-98

The Navy's lead ship of the New Attack Submarine class will be formally named during a ceremony held in the LBJ Room of the U.S. Capitol at 9 a.m. Friday, October 2nd.

Secretary of the Navy John Dalton announced September 10th his decision to name the lead ship the USS Virginia (SSN 774).

The Navy's next-generation attack submarine, the Virginia class, will provide the U.S. Navy with the capabilities 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 multimission requirements.

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 or 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.

The LBJ Room is located in room S-211 of the Capitol building. Media are invited to cove this event and should enter the Capitol through the north entrance. For more information, contact Cmdr. Frank Thorp or Lt.j.g. Steve Mavica at (703) 697-5342.