USS North Carolina (SSN-777)

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USS North Carolina (SSN-777) commissioning 2.jpg
USS North Carolina (SSN-777) during her commissioning ceremony in 2008.
United States
NameNorth Carolina
NamesakeState of North Carolina
Ordered30 September 1998
BuilderNorthrop Grumman Newport News
Laid down22 May 2004
Christened21 April 2007
Launched5 May 2007
Acquired21 February 2008
Commissioned3 May 2008
HomeportPearl Harbor, Hawaii
MottoPrimus in Proelio ("First in Fight")
Statusin active service
BadgeUSS North Carolina SSN-777 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type Virginia-class submarine
Displacement7,800 tons
Length114.9 m (377 ft)
Beam10.3 m (34 ft)
Depth800 ft (244 m)
  • 1 × S9G PWR nuclear reactor[1] 280,000 shp (210 MW), HEU 93.5%[2][3]
  • 2 × steam turbines 40,000 shp (30 MW)
  • 1 × single shaft pump-jet propulsor[1]
  • 1 × secondary propulsion motor[1]
Speed25 knots (46 km/h)+
RangeEssentially unlimited distance; 33 years
Complement134 officers and men
Armament12 × VLS (BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile) & 4 × 533 mm torpedo tubes (Mark 48 torpedo)

USS North Carolina (SSN-777), a Virginia-class attack submarine, is the fourth ship of the United States Navy named for the 12th U.S. state.

The contract to build her was awarded to Northrop Grumman Newport News on 30 September 1998 and her keel was laid down on 24 May 2004. She was launched on 5 May 2007. North Carolina was commissioned on 3 May 2008 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

This class of submarine is unique in that it features a Photonics Mast Program (PMP) that freed ship designers to place the boat's control room in a lower, less geometrically-constrained space than would be required by a standard, optical tube periscope. It is additionally unique in the U.S. Navy for featuring all-digital ship and ballast control systems that are operated by relatively senior watchstanders and a pressure chamber to deploy SEAL divers while being submerged.[citation needed] It is capable of diverse missions, including conventional submarine warfare, strike warfare, mining operations, and delivery of special operations personnel and equipment.[4]


The contract to build her was awarded to Northrop Grumman Newport News (then called Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company) in Newport News, Virginia on 30 September 1998 and her keel was laid down on 22 May 2004. She was christened on 21 April 2007 sponsored by Linda Bowman, wife of Admiral Frank L. "Skip" Bowman, the former director of Naval Reactors. Captain Mark E. Davis, a native of upstate New York, was the ship's first commanding officer and leads a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel.

The boat has physical connections to previous North Carolinas. Sections of the teak decking from previous North Carolina are reused within the submarine, and several pieces from a silver serving set made for the armored cruiser ACR-12, then transferred through the state governor to the battleship will be used aboard SSN-777.[5]

North Carolina joined the fleet on 21 February 2008, after problems with the boat's steam valve and internal piping system had forced two delays in the acceptance of the vessel.[6] Welding issues in the internal piping system scuttled a first-planned December 2007 delivery, and the discovery of an inadequate steam valve forced a further delay from January to February 2008.

The ship's official commissioning ceremony was held on 3 May 2008, in Wilmington, North Carolina.[7] The submarine joined the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet based in New London, Connecticut.[8]

In 2010, North Carolina changed homeports from Naval Submarine Base New London to Naval Station Pearl Harbor.[9] She left Groton for Pearl Harbor on 22 July 2010 and arrived at her new homeport, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, on Monday, 15 November 2010 after her four-month transfer activities. During the transfer, the officers and crew of North Carolina conducted a series of exercises designed to test the boat's new combat systems and stealth capabilities. North Carolina is the third Virginia-class attack submarine to be homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and is assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron 1. Received squadron 1 battle E for year 2015.[10]



  1. ^ a b c Ragheb, Magdi (9 September 2011), Tsvetkov, Pavel (ed.), "Nuclear Naval Propulsion", Nuclear Power - Deployment, Operation and Sustainability, ISBN 978-953-307-474-0
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "A History of Ships Named For The State of North Carolina". Battleship North Carolina. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  5. ^ Worthington, Don (3 June 2007). "The USS North Carolina: Ceremony set for America's latest attack sub". The Fayetteville Observer. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2007. We call this physical legacy transfer. You don't often get the opportunity to transfer history.
  6. ^ Fish, Tim (5 March 2008). "US Navy finally takes delivery of North Carolina". Jane's Defence Weekly. p. 31.
  7. ^ Beckwith, Ryan Teague (6 September 2007). "USS North Carolina to visit namesake". The News & Observer. Archived from the original on 24 October 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2008.
  8. ^ Zeldis, Jennifer, Lt. (4 May 2008). "USS North Carolina Joins the Fleet". Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic, U.S. Navy. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  9. ^ Gutridg, Ronald (7 January 2010). "USS North Carolina to Homeport in Pearl Harbor". U.S. Navy. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Submarine Squadrons". COMSUBPAC. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.

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