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US Navy christens Virginia-Class Submarine, 'California'


The eighth submarine of the Virginia class, California (SSN 781). Photo: Northrop Grumman Corporation.

NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA (BNS): The US Navy christened the first submarine named after the state of California Saturday in Newport News, Virginia.

California (SSN 781) is the eighth Virginia-Class submarine built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics' Electric Boat.

The 377-foot USS California is more technologically advanced and will be capable of speeds greater than 25 knots and can dive at least 800 feet.

"The California is designed with a nuclear reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs and increasing underway time." Northrop Grumman said in a company statement.

California was christened by her sponsor, Mrs. Donna Willard, wife of Admiral Robert F. Willard, USN the 32nd and current Commander, US Pacific Fleet.

The ship is named after the "Golden State." The ship's motto is, "Silence is Golden." Upon delivery to the Navy in 2011, it will be the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, providing undersea supremacy well into the 21st century.

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