GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Virginia-class attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) made her way up the Thames River June 1 and arrived at her new homeport, Naval Submarine Base New London.
New Mexico joins Submarine Squadron 4 to further train and test the crew.
The submarine made the transition from a shipyard project to a fully operational, combat-ready vessel when she officially joined the fleet on March 27 during a commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk.
New Mexico is named in recognition of the people of the "Land of Enchantment." The battleship New Mexico (BB-40) (1918-1946), the only other ship named after the 47th state, earned six battle stars for World War II service, which included providing shore bombardment support for landings in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Guam, Tinian, Saipan, the Philippines, and Okinawa.
Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered the sixth submarine of the Virginia class to the U.S. Navy in December, four months ahead of schedule. New Mexico's 70-month construction period represents the shortest overall construction time to date of any Virginia-class submarine.
New Mexico is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; battle group support; and mine warfare missions. By doing so, New Mexico will directly enable five of the six Navy Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.
The 7,800-ton New Mexico was built under a unique teaming arrangement between Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat. She is 377-feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. New Mexico is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship - reducing life-cycle costs while increasing underway time.
The keel for New Mexico was authenticated April 12, 2008, and the ship was christened Dec. 13, 2008. New Mexico is the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, providing undersea supremacy well into the 21st century.
For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.