The US Navy named the newest Virginia class attack submarine, the future USS Hyman G Rickover (SSN 795), in a ceremony on 31 July 2021 at General Dynamics/Electric Boat, in Groton, Connecticut.
The future USS Hyman G Rickover (SSN 795) is the second nuclear-powered fast attack submarine in recognition of Admiral Rickover. The first Hyman G Rickover (SSN 709) was commissioned at Submarine Base, New London, Groton, in July 1984. SSN 709 and its crew deployed 12 times until its decommissioning in December 2007.
Rickover, known as the ‘Father of the Nuclear Navy,’ served in the US Navy for 63 years on active duty. His views touched matters of design, propulsion, education, personnel and professional standards.
Admiral Rickover’s team of engineers designed and constructed the first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN 571). This accomplishment led to the world’s preeminent fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.
Virginia class submarines are built to operate worldwide, conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and mine warfare missions.
The new Rickover will join the fleet with a displacement of 7,835tonnes, crew of 132 and a weapons payload of 12 vertical launch systems and four torpedo tubes. Fast-attack submarines like Rickover are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six US Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
The US Navy has three classes of SSNs in service. Los Angeles class (SSN 688) submarines are the backbone of the submarine force, equipped with 12 Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes for firing Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The US Navy also has three Seawolf-class submarines. Commissioned in 1997, USS Seawolf (SSN 21) lacks the VLS of the Los Angeles class but has eight torpedo tubes and can hold up to 50 weapons in its torpedo room.
The Virginia class submarines are replacing Los Angeles class submarines as they retire.