In honor of the long-standing history with the namesake state, the US Navy christened its newest Virginia-class attack submarine as the USS Idaho (SSN 799).
This will be considered the 5th US Naval vessel to bear the name, USS Idaho. The 4th Naval vessel was launched in 1917 as a New Mexico-class battleship. The 3rd USS Idaho was a motorboat commissioned in 1917 that went around protecting the Pennsylvanian harbors and New Jersey. The 2nd was a battleship that mainly supported the American Foreign Policy mission in Central America and conducted operations and events at Guantanamo Bay. Lastly, the legacy USS Idaho was a steam sloop that served as a hospital and store ship.
According to US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus,
"One of the reasons I chose Idaho is because you have such a strong connection to the Navy and Marine Corps even though you're a long way from the ocean. Second, you have so many veterans here and people who have been patriotic. And third, you haven't had a USS Idaho since 1919, and it was time to put that great name back in the fleet."
To get an idea of the specification of the Virginia-class submarines, Seapower says, “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". They are 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 under a unique teaming agreement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding wherein both companies build certain portions of each submarine and then alternate deliveries. Idaho will be delivered by General Dynamics Electric Boat, based in Groton, Connecticut.
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