South Dakota, 17th Virginia class submarine, to be christened Saturday at EB

South Dakota, 17th Virginia class submarine, to be christened Saturday at EB”

"To the people of South Dakota, take pride in knowing that this submarine will deliver freedom, everywhere she sails", Neport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin said.

The latest naval vessel to bear the name South Dakota is a Virginia Class submarine.

The 17th Virginia-class submarine, South Dakota (SSN-790), will be christened Saturday morning at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard.

Martin Dempsey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be on hand for the ceremony.

Almost all of the work will be executed in Newport News, Va., and is expected to be completed by February 2018.

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds and Governor Dennis Daugaard were two of the featured speakers at the christening ceremony where everyone celebrated the new state-of-the-art submarine and crew named for the Mount Rushmore state.

The LAB provides enhanced passive detection capabilities and is meant to replace the 12 individual vertical launch system (VLS) tubes with two large-diameter, 87in Virginia payload tubes (VPTs).

Virginia-class submarines are capable of conducting anti-submarine, anti-surface ship and strike warfare, as well as special operation forces support.

GD's Electric Boat Corp., out of Groton, Ct., was awarded the contract modification after a previous 14-year contract was approved between the Department of Defense and General Dynamics.

To date, total of 28 Virginia-class submarines have either been delivered or are now under construction / under contract.

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