The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest fast attack submarine, the USS South Dakota (SSN-790), on Saturday in Groton, Conn. Sen. Mike Rounds and Gov. Kristi Noem headed a delegation from South Dakota at the event. Also on hand was Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who represents the state where the $2.6 billion sub was built and its home port, the U.S. Naval Submarine Base. Deanie Dempsey, wife of former Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, served as office ship’s sponsor, giving the order to “man our ship and bring her to life.” After the American flag was hoisted, sirens blasted. Officers and crew members boarded the submarine to the Naval Song “Anchors aweigh.” During the uplifting song, one child was dancing in the aisles.
The nuclear-powered submarine, designated SSN-790, is the 17th in the series of Virginia-class Navy submarines and the third Navy vessel to carry the state’s name. Regarded as the state-of-the-art in its class of attack submarines, it can operate in littoral, or shallow water, environments, as well as in deep ocean situations. The Navy regards the submarine as a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; delivery of Special Operations Forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; mine warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
USS South Dakota (SSN-790), is a nuclear powered Virginia-class submarine. The contract to build her was awarded to Huntington Ingalls Industries in partnership with the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics in Newport News, Virginia on 22 December 2008. This boat is the seventh of the Block III submarines which will feature a revised bow, including some technology from Ohio-class SSGNs. At 377 feet in length, the 7,800-ton vessel features a redesigned bow for action in shallow water, and the capability of launching up to six Tomahawk cruise missiles. It was built by General Dynamics Electric Boat at its Groton facility.
USS South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class attack submarine and the seventh Virginia-class Block III submarine. Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.