The U.S. Navy christened its newest attack submarine the Minnesota on Saturday morning in Virginia.
Dignitaries and officials helped christen the submarine before a crowd of hundreds of people. The vessel was designed for strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It has a nuclear reactor that the Navy said will not need refueling during the working life of the submarine.
In his speech, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Shawn Stackley said the Minnesota's commander and crew will have to live up to a name that stands for resilience and toughness.
"Maintaining persistent surveillance in regions of interest," Stackley said. "Conducting special operations undetected. Safeguarding the choke-points of the world. Or to strike, if necessary, and all the while, serving as the enduring, reliable deterrent that has underpinned our nation's security for over half a century."
The ship's sponsor, Ellen Roughead, is a native of Granite Falls, Minn., and the wife of retired Adm. Gary Roughead. She helped break a bottle of Champagne against a plate welded to the Minnesota's hull.
"Minnesota could not be great without her families," Ellen Roughead said. "Minnesota has great families. She is manned by the best sailors in the world, in the greatest navy in the world. And we will all benefit from the effort of every single crew member. Minnesota and our country could not better served."
The Minnesota, at 7,800 tons and nearly 400 feet long, was built to dive deeper than 800 feet and move at more than 25 knots while submerged. It will carry a crew of about 130.
The ship is the third to bear the state's name. The first was a sailing steam frigate in the Civil War; the second served in World War I.
A Minnesota teenager's design won a competition for the submarine's logo. It features an outline of the state, a swimming official state fish -- the walleye -- and a blond Viking warrior.
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