Newport News, Virginia-? The US Navy will christen its newest Virginia class attack Navy submarine, the SSN New Mexico on Saturday December 13th, 2008. The ceremony will occur at the Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Yard, at 10 am.
The new submarine will be designated SSN 779- the SSN New Mexico will be named to recognize the people of the Land of New Mexico. The Submarine has been under construction since 2004, and is a cooperative effort between Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat Company.
It is the sixth Virginia class fast attack submarine, and will be a state of the art anti submarine warfare, strike warfare, intelligence and general battle group warfare support.
The new commanding officer for the SSN 79 New Mexico will be Commander Mark A Prokopius, from Seven Hills, Ohio. He will lead a new crew that consists of about 134 enlisted personnel and officers. The New Mexico is a 7,800 ton attack submarine, with a beam of about 34 feet and is 377 feet in length.
The newest of the Virginia Class of Attack Submarines, she will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and run submerged at speeds in excess of 25 knots. It is an exciting new submarine, one that continues the proud tradition of the Virginia class of attack Nuclear Submarines.