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New USS Illinois Announced

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An example of a Virginia-class submarine (photo courtesy:military.com)

An example of a Virginia-class submarine (photo courtesy:military.com)

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CHICAGO (AP) -  The Navy has named a new Virginia-class attack submarine the USS Illinois.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced names for five new submarines on Friday. They will be named the USS Illinois, the USS Washington, the USS Colorado, the USS Indiana and the USS South Dakota.

The Navy says none of the five states has had a ship named for it for more than 49 years. The USS Illinois submarine is the second ship named for Illinois. Illinois is home to the Navy’s Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, north of Chicago. It’s where all enlisted sailors begin service.

The next-generation submarines have sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements. They can attack with Tomahawk missiles. The submarines weigh 7,800 tons and are 377 feet long.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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