General Dynamics Electric Boat, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, has revealed the beginning of the keel laying ceremony for the Virginia-class submarine Tang (SSN 805) at its Quonset Point facility. The event carries significant importance as it involves the welding of the ship's sponsor's initials onto a plate, a pivotal step in the vessel's construction process.
Tang will hold the distinction of being the third U.S. Navy ship to bear this illustrious name. The first USS Tang, an SS 306 Balao-class submarine, achieved remarkable success during WWII, notably sinking 33 enemy ships in a mere 14 months, securing its status as the most successful U.S. submarine during the war.
Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat, underscored the company's commitment to delivering state-of-the-art submarines to the Navy, critical for upholding the nation's freedom in an increasingly competitive undersea landscape.
He also extended his appreciation to the dedicated professionals whose daily efforts contribute to the safety of U.S. sailors.
The ship's sponsor, Mimi Donnelly, with deep-rooted ties to U.S. Navy submariners, expressed her gratitude for the technical excellence and rigorous standards demanded in submarine construction. Her presence at the ceremony was accompanied by her husband, retired Vice Adm.Jay Donnelly.
Vice Adm. William Houston, commander, Submarine Forces, acknowledged the pivotal role played by the shipbuilders in safeguarding the nation and lauded their work in designing and constructing cutting-edge Virginia-class submarines.
Donnelly and Electric Boat welder Alison Fasulo jointly participated in welding Donnelly's initials onto a steel plate, affirming the authenticity of the keel-laying and its adherence to exacting standards.
Tang, as the 32nd submarine in the Virginia class, has been meticulously designed to meet 21st-century mission requirements, encompassing anti-submarine and surface ship warfare, as well as special operations support. It will be equipped with the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), elevating its capabilities to deliver a range of payloads, including weapons and unmanned undersea vehicles.
General Dynamics Electric Boat plays a pivotal role as the prime contractor and lead design yard for the Virginia class, collaborating with Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia for the construction of these advanced submarines.