DENVER – Monday, June 25, 2012 – Gov. John Hickenlooper and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus hosted a ship naming ceremony today at the state Capitol in honor of the USS Colorado. The Virginia-class submarine, designated SSN 788, is under construction and is expected to be delivered to the fleet in late 2016.
“The naming of this ship honors all of Colorado’s military contributions,” Hickenlooper said. “Our servicemen and servicewomen, veterans and active, and their families have sacrificed so much so that our country can be so great.”
This is the fourth ship to bear the name Colorado. The first was named after the Colorado River, while the second and third were named in honor of the state. The second ship was a battleship that stood as the lead ship of her class, participated in the Tarawa invasion and suffered two kamikaze hits while supporting the landings at Leyte Gulf in November 1944.
This next-generation attack submarine will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. The future USS Colorado will have the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land area, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. It is also designed for special forces delivery and support.
SSN 788 will be built at Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., and will be 7,800 tons and 377 feet long, have a beam of 34 feet and operate at more than 25 knots submerged.