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USS California (SSN-781)
US Navy 120106-N-PN306-001 Cmdr. Dana Nelson, commanding officer of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781), observes his ship.jpg
California pierside at Naval Submarine Base New London in January 2012.
Name: California
Namesake: The state of California
Awarded: 14 August 2003
Builder: Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding
Laid down: 1 May 2009
Sponsored by: Mrs. Donna Willard
Christened: 6 November 2010
Launched: 14 November 2010
Commissioned: 29 October 2011
Homeport: Groton, Connecticut[1]
Motto: Silentium Est Aureum
("Silence Is Golden")
Status: in active service, as of 2022
Badge: USS California SSN-781 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Virginia-class submarine
Displacement: 7800 tons light, 7900 tons full
Length: 114.9 meters (377 feet)
Beam: 10.3 meters (34 feet)
Propulsion: S9G reactor
Speed: greater than 25 knots (46 km/h)[2]
Range: Essentially unlimited distance; 33 years
Test depth: greater than 800 feet (250 meters) [3]
Complement: 134 officers and men[2]

USS California (SSN-781), is the eighth Virginia-class submarine, and the eighth United States Navy ship named for the state of California. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding (then called Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.) in Newport News, Virginia, on 14 August 2003. Construction began in December 2006.[4] California's keel was laid down on 1 May 2009. She was christened on 6 November 2010, sponsored by Donna Willard, wife of Admiral Robert F. Willard.[5] She was launched eight days later, on 14 November 2010.[6]

California is the first Virginia-class submarine built with the advanced electromagnetic signature reduction system; although it will be retrofitted into older submarines of the class.[7]

California was delivered to the Navy on 7 August 2011, eight and a half months ahead of schedule.[8]

The $2.3 billion ship was commissioned on 29 October 2011 in Norfolk, Virginia, with Dana Nelson in command and a crew of 134.[9]


  • This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.

External links

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