Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The Navy's newest fast-attack submarine, to be named in honor of Adm. Hyman Rickover, was christened in ceremonies in Groton, Conn.
The Virginia-class vessel, constructed by General Dynamics/Electric Boat, is designed for anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare and mine warfare, a Navy statement said.
It will carry a weapons payload of 12 vertical launch tubes, to fire Tomahawk missiles, and four torpedo tubes.
The submarine was formally christened on Saturday by Sarah Greenert McNichol, who ceremonially broke a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow. Adm. James Caldwell, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, was the principal speaker, and noted that Rickover, who served in the Navy for 63 years, is credited with urging the Navy to adopt nuclear propulsion of its vessels.
"This submarine is a fitting tribute to Admiral Rickover, who truly transformed our Navy," Caldwell said.
Rickover led a team of engineers in designing the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, which was commissioned in 1954 and famously was the first submarine to complete a submerged transit of the North Pole in 1958.
The new vessel will carry a crew of 132 and is the second named in honor of Rickover; the first, also a submarine, was commissioned in 1984 and decommissioned in 2007.