Electric Boat Launches Attack Submarine 'Baltimore'

Maryland's senior senator and dean of its Congressional delegation called today for a Navy "second to none." Speaking at launching ceremonies for the 688-Class fast attack submarine Baltimore (SSN-704) at General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division, Senator Charles McC. Mathias said: "As we send Baltimore down the ways, we send it to join a fleet dangerously short of ships and of personnel . . . into a world dangerously long on problems.

"Our lifelines are stretched to every corner of the globe," Senator Mathias continued, noting that the U.S. Navy is half the size it was 10 years ago. "It doesn't take much imagination," he went on, "to figure out what kind of shape we'd be in if those lifelines were cut. Obviously, today as never before, we depend on the sea for our security and our survival." Later in the ceremony, Maryland Representative Marjorie S. Holt (R), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, christened the Baltimore by smashing the traditional bottle of champagne on the bow of the 360-foot, 6,900-ton vessel. Whistle blaring, the nuclear-powered submarine slid down the ways into the Thames River to the cheers of thousands of spectators.

Also participating in the ceremonies were Secretary of the Navy Edward Hidalgo; Baltimore Mayor William D. Schaefer; David S. Lewis, General Dynamics' chairman and chief executive officer; and P. Takis Veliotis, General Dynamics' executive vice presidentmarine and general manager of Electric Boat Division.

The launching was the third during 1980 at the shipyard. Last spring, Electric Boat launched a sister ship, Boston and Michigan, the second Trident balllistic missile submamarine.

Electric Boat has already delivered five of the fast attack submarines to the Navy and holds contracts for 15 more. The shipyard also has contracts for seven Trident ballistic missile submarines.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 46,  Jan 15, 1981

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.