The Navy will christen its newest attack submarine Missouri, Saturday, Dec. 5, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn. Sen. Claire McCaskill will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Becky Gates, wife of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, will serve as ship’s sponsor.
This is the fifth Navy ship to be named in honor of the people of the “Show Me State” and its leaders for their continuous support of the military. The last USS Missouri, a legendary battleship, saw action in World War II, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, and was also the site where Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and many other U.S. and Allied officers accepted the unconditional surrender of the Japanese at the end of World War II on Sept. 2, 1945.
The seventh Virginia-class submarine, Missouri is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Adept at operating in both the world’s shallow littoral regions and deep waters, Missouri will directly enable five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
Cmdr. Timothy Rexrode of Spencer, W.Va., is the ship’s commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel.
The 7,800-ton Missouri is being built under a teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News. She is 377-feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. Missouri is designed with a nuclear reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship – reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.