The Navy’s new planned class of ballistic missile submarines will be named in honor of the District of Columbia, two Navy officials confirmed to USNI News on Thursday.
According to a notification memo to Congress obtained by USNI News, the first ship in the next planned class of Navy nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN(X))– also known as the Ohio replacement program — will be named USS Columbia.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ office is not releasing further information until the naming announcement, one Navy official told USNI News.
While the name Columbia for a U.S. ships and aircraft is not new – at least eight U.S. ships, a Space Shuttle and the Apollo 11 command module have all shared the name – it will be the first time the name has been used to commemorate the U.S. capital, the sources told USNI News.
The fleet’s current USS Columbia (SSN-771) – a Los Angeles attack submarine – is named in honor of Columbia, S.C., Columbia, Ill and Columbia, Mo. The submarine is expected to decommission before the first SSBN(X) enters service.