US Navy christens two new vessels on same day
The US Navy formally named its newest nuclear-powered attack submarine in a ceremony at Newport News, Virginia, on Saturday, November 13.
The future USS New Jersey is the third US Navy vessel named in recognition of the state of New Jersey as well as the fifth Block IV Virginia-class submarine to be built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division.
Once in service, the submarine will operate in littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations forces support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), irregular warfare, and mine warfare missions.
On the same day that the future New Jersey was formally named, the navy also christened the future USNS Apalachicola, its 13th Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport (EPF), at the facilities of Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.
The EPF is the second US Navy ship to be named in honour of the city of Apalachicola, Florida. Upon completion, the vessel will be capable of transporting 600 tons (544 tonnes) of cargo over 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.
The future Apalachicola will be able to operate in shallow-draught ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities and on/off-loading heavy armoured vehicles such as M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks.