U.S.S. New Hampshire (SSN-778)
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Name: U.S.S. New Hampshire
Namesake: The State of New Hampshire
Ordered: 14 August 2003
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down: 30 April 2007
Launched: 21 February 2008
Christened: 21 June 2008
Commissioned: 25 October 2008
Homeport: Groton, Connecticut
Motto: ''Live Free or Die''
Status: in active service, as of 2012
Class and type: Virginia class submarine
Displacement: 7,800 tons
Length: 377 feet (115 m)
Beam: 34 feet (10 m)
Propulsion: S9G reactor
Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h)
Range: Essentially unlimited distance; 33 years
Test depth: 800 feet (244 m)
Complement: 134 officers and enlisted
Armament: 12 - VLS (BGM - 109 Tomahawk cruise missile) & 4 - 533 mm torpedo tubes (Mk - 48 torpedo)
The USS New Hampshire (SSN-778), a Virginia class nuclear powered attack submarine, is the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the state of New Hampshire (though one of her predecessors, BB-70, existed only on paper, authorized, but cancelled before keel laying). She is the first of the Virginia Block II submarines to enter service. Her name was awarded to the submarine after a letter writing campaign by the third graders from Garrison Elementary School in Dover to their members of Congress, the state governor, and the Secretary of the Navy.
The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, on 14 August 2003. Construction began in January 2004. A keel laying ceremony for the submarine was held at Electric Boat's Quonset Point facility in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, on 30 April 2007. The ship's sponsor was Cheryl McGuinness of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the widow of Thomas McGuinness, co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks when the jet was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
The submarine was launched on 21 February 2008 and christened four months later, on 21 June 2008 in Groton, Connecticut, eight months ahead of schedule and $54 million under budget. New Hampshire finished sea trials and was delivered to the Navy on 28 August 2008. The ship was commissioned in a ceremony at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, on 25 October 2008.
Incidents aboard New Hampshire
During the week of 13 March 2011, while on a mission under the Arctic ice cap, New Hampshire suffered an oxygen generator failure. This failure required the ship the surface though the ice. The crew had used oxygen candles to make oxygen until the ship surfaced. United Technologies Corp., the company responsible for building the oxygen generator, had dispatched a representative with needed replacement parts to the submarine by way of a temporary ice camp, to assist the ship's crew in repairing the problem.