The Navy will christen its tenth Virginia class submarine, the Minnesota, during a ceremony Saturday at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, in Newport News, Va.
Saturday’s ceremony comes as shipbuilding is one of the few military subjects to get thrust into the presidential campaign. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to boost ship building to 15 per year form the nine currently planned to help increase the Navy fleet to 350 ships.
As part of the plan, Romeny has proposed building an additional three ships over the next three years.
Adm. Kirk Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, will oversee the ceremony Saturday. The Minnesota, SSN 783, was built to to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions, according to a Navy statement.