Navy christens Minnesota Saturday

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.

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Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at
  • TomUK

    “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”.

    Jack-of-all-trades, master of none ?

  • LtKitty

    VA class subs are awesome! We need more.

  • Lance

    Nice boat. As with blight think Seawolf could have built a few more of them as well as current LA class upgrades. But Virgina’s are good boats hope they make a Oregon soon.

    Think this sight has too much of a love affair with Mitty Romney. Think the corrupt who want blank checks for the military’s pet projects. However he is NOT president now and with larger cuts and most experts saying the Senate will remain democratic time to stop drooling over mitt.

  • Phono

    Why are you building 10 of those ships? Half of them would be enough to fit the demands.

    If Romney wants to even extend the program he shows that:
    – he has no plan according what ships are meeded in the future
    – he wants to substitute the ship-building industry via the Navy (that’s socialism!)

    what you do need are smaller ships that are better suited for the litorial and special-operation mission-profile. I would recommend to buy a few dozen of the german HDW/Siemens made type 212 subs :-)

  • Joe

    Good piece of equipment. Welcome addition to the fleet. If there is a better more advanced sub than this one, it is a well kept secret.

  • Tim Uk

    I thought the Astute of the Royal Navy to use an american phrase whupped the Virginia class in a recent exercise ?

    • We’ll never know the whole story. It’s classified.

    • Praetorian

      Was that before or after the UK got it unstuck from the Scottish coast line ?

    • Mastro

      The Astute- wasn’t that the class that Americans had to teach the UK how to build?

    • blight_

      The Astute is more of a hunter-killer type sub: which would put it into the Seawolf’s class, instead of the VA.

    • Chuck

      LOL, 5 subs hardly makes a fleet. Maybe a squadron.

  • Red

    There’s a lot of similarity between the Seawolf and Virginia, and the F-22 and F-35.

    Three Seawolfs were built; around 30 Virginias will be built. This is akin to the ~180 F-22s and ~2,000 F-35s that were or will be made.

    Seawolf and the F-22 are centered more on performance and to dominate enemy units of their own type, while Virginia and the F-35 are made for multitasking and are meant to be a cheaper platform for multiple missions.

    Seawolf and the F-22 were both prematurely capped in production due to very high cost. Virginia and F-35 were meant to be cheaper, but in real life haven’t turned out to be much cheaper at all.

    Seawolf has a higher weapons capacity than the Virginia; and the F-22 has a higher internal weapons capacity than the F-35.

    • anonymous

      Yeah, but Seawolf was a maintenance nightmare! The F-22, on the other hand, enjoys— Oh, wait…

    • blight_

      The VA has 27x torps + 12 VLS, the Seawolf has 0 VLS, but allegedly up to 50 torps/TLAM internally stowed and launched through 8x torpedo tubes.

    • As far as the pricing goes, “So what else is new?”

  • Dfens

    Hell, if he wanted Romney could reduce the Navy budget and get back to a 600 ship Navy. All he’d have to do is stop paying defense contractors more to screw over the US taxpayer and go back to having the Navy design their own ships and subs. You know, like we did when we had a 600 ship Navy. Or he could hold the current course, in which case we will spend more and get less just as we have continued to do. The great thing about the current way of doing business is that the contractors make record profits while building few, if any actual vessels that fight, and they provide nice kickbacks to government officials who need more money more than they need more ships.

  • Rob

    We would have the Virginia Class if wasn’t for the R&D work done on the SSN-21 project. Seawolf principly anti-ship/sub vessel with secondary mission of firing tommy at land targets. Virigina a multi-purpuse vessel. Weather not their equal in their tasks its hard to say. I’m actually surprised Sea Wolf didn’t include VLS since later flights/blocks of LA Class did include them.

  • tiger

    I want my fish names back for Subs….. This boat should be a PIKE or MUSKIE. Not Minnesota.

  • anonymous

    (except for the patrol pin, worn below the dolphins, is called the ‘boomer pin’, because the image is of an old boomer)

  • blight_

    You shouldn’t be giving away shibboleths to us armchair folk.

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