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USS Virginia
USS Virginia (SSN-774) is a United States Navy attack submarine, the lead boat of her class and the tenth vessel of the Navy to be named for the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as the first US Navy attack submarine to be named after a state, a pattern that is common throughout her class.
The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 30 September 1998 and her keel was laid down on 2 September 1999. She was launched on 16 August 2003 sponsored by Lynda Johnson Robb, the wife of former Virginia governor and senator Charles Robb, and daughter of President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson. She was the first U.S. Navy submarine to be completely designed on a computer.[4][5] On 10 and 11 March, the prospective submarine shot 12 dummy torpedoes into the Thames River from each of the boat's four tubes.
Virginia was delivered to the Navy on 12 October 2004, the 104th anniversary of the commissioning of Holland, the Navy's second submarine. She was commissioned on 23 October 2004 under the command of David J. Kern. The commissioning ceremony was featured in the 2005 television series "Submarine: Hidden Hunter" on the Discovery Channel. This class of submarine is unique in that it features a Photonics Mast Program (PMP) that freed ship designers to place the boat's control room in a lower, less geometrically-constrained space than would be required by a standard, optical tube periscope. It is additionally unique in the U.S. Navy for featuring all-digital ship and ballast control systems that are manned by relatively senior watchstanders and a pressure chamber to deploy SEALs, divers or other special forces units while being submerged.
On 23 November 2005, Virginia completed her first deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. On 12 January 2006, Virginia entered Electric Boat's shipyard for post-shakedown availability, which was expected to last for most of 2006. In April 2010 the submarine returned from a six-month deployment having covered 37,000 miles.[6][7]
The submarine completed her first 20-month-long overhaul in May 2012.
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