The US Navy will commission its newest fast attack submarine, the future USS South Dakota, during a ceremony on Saturday, February the 2nd, at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

In a release, the US Navy say that the principal speaker will be US Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota. The submarine’s sponsor is Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, wife of the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey. She will give the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!” in a time-honoured US Navy tradition.

“USS South Dakota enters service during a period of dynamic security challenges,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer.

“I am confident USS South Dakota and its crew will ensure our Navy and nation remain safe and strong, and proudly serve our nation’s interest for decades to come.”

USS South Dakota is the 17th Virginia-class attack submarine and the seventh Virginia-class Block III submarine. Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions.

Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities — sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence. say the US Navy

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Alex T

If only MOD would order another 2-3 Astutes…

John Clark

Absolutely true, we may only eventually have 7 Astues, 12 should always have been the red line regarding SSN’s.

That said, a single Astute is packed with incredible firepower, one boat could decapitate most Navies.

38 weapons on board and vertually undetectable…..

The very threat of one would be a terrifying prospect for any potential adversary.


I also agree that the submarine force needs to be increased. I also understand that the UK has a limited budget, I wish that more could be spent on beefing up the RN. I understand that a SSN costs £1 billion plus but here is a question that maybe if someone who reads this site understands sub technology, is it possible to take the Astute class design and equip it with an Air Independent System. If yes it should cost less which means we could build maybe 2 for every one SSN. If that were possible then the Astutes could… Read more »



Have a read up on the Australian future submarine…. it’s a denuclearised version of the French Barracuda SSN….

The latest estimated price is now $50 billion Australian dollars (27 billion pounds) for 12 subs…

Questions are being asked now about the value for money….


Ron, in simple terms yes it’s possible to change propulsion systems but and it a big but Where’s all that fuel going to be stored I would hazard (because I’m not in the mood for maths) that the amount of money spent to increase fuels storage and purchase a reliable AIP system might come close to SSN anyway we also don’t have capacity to build them. Also know it wasn’t you who said it but someone mentioned the skills being lost, the dreadnoughts have been ordered and the hall has the last 3 astutes in it so no chance of… Read more »