Huntington Ingalls Industries‘ Newport News Shipbuilding division has christened the USS John Warner (SSN 785), the first Virginia-class submarine to be named after a living person — former Senator and Navy Secretary John Warner.
Warner’s wife Jeanne led the christening ceremony as the ship’s sponsor, the company said Monday.
“American technological innovation and manufacturing skill have always been some of our most powerful advantages,” Ray Mabus, current Navy secretary, said in his remarks.
“They are represented in the John Warner by the more than 1,000 ship workers who have worked directly on her here and by thousands and thousands more across this country.”
He said that the SSN 785’s home port will be in Norfolk, Virginia.
According to HII, the USS John Warner is the 12th Virginia-class submarine and the sixth to be built by Newport News Shipbuilding, with delivery to the Navy scheduled for next year.
The shipyard added that it employed nearly 4,000 workers to build the submarine since construction began in 2010.
During the christening ceremony, Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin honored the shipbuilders from Virginia who have worked on the vessel.
HII President and CEO Mike Petters was also present at the ceremony.