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US Navy christens Virginia class Block IV submarine USS Idaho.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the US DoD on March 16, 2024, the Navy recently completed the christening ceremony for its newest Virginia-class attack submarine, the future USS Idaho (SSN 799), at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. In a variation of the traditional ceremony, the submarine's sponsor, Ms. Teresa Stackley, used water collected from several Idaho lakes to christen the vessel.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Virginia class submarine USS Idaho. (Picture source: Dvids)

The USS Idaho, whose construction began in 2017, marks the 26th Virginia-class fast attack submarine and is the fifth Navy ship to bear the Idaho name. The previous USS Idaho was a battleship, BB 42, commissioned in 1919.

Idaho, despite its lack of direct access to the sea, has a significant role in supporting the Navy, particularly through the Acoustic Research Detachment located on Lake Pend Oreille. This facility is involved in research and development related to submarine acoustic stealth and propeller design.

Block IV

Block IV includes a total of ten submarines, with the USS Vermont being the inaugural vessel​​​​. One of the main improvements of the Block IV submarines over their predecessors is the reduction in major maintenance periods from four to three, effectively increasing each boat's total lifetime deployments by one.

This enhancement is part of a broader strategy to reduce total ownership costs (RTOC) by implementing smaller-scale design changes that extend the component-level lifecycle of the submarines. As a result, the U.S. Navy anticipates increased periodicity between depot maintenance availabilities and an increased number of deployments​​​​.

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