Electric Boat Division Launches Navy Attack Submarine 'Boston'
The h i s t o r i c capital of Massachusetts gained a new symbol of its rich heritage recently when the USS Boston (SSN-703), a high-speed attack submarine, was launched at General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division in Groton, Conn.
Secretary of the Navy Edward Hidalgo hailed the 360-foot, 6,900-ton vessel and her sister ships as "the vanguard of our leadership well into the next century." The Secretary's wife, Karen Hidalgo, smashed the traditional bottle of champagne on the Boston's bow, sending the submarine down the ways into the Thames River.
Secretary Hidalgo spoke of "the serious test of our leadership today," and said that "eternal vigilance is still an imperative, and will continue to be so . . ." The Secretary said that the Navy was working constantly to enhance its strength and capability for immediate response. "I am absolutely confident," he continued, "that we shall continue to respond." The Navy Secretary also paid tribute to the shipyard work force. Twice during his address he called them "the unsung heroes." P. Takis Veliotis, General Dynamics' executive vice president and general manager of the Electric Boat Division, termed the Boston the "New Ironsides," referring to one of the City of Boston's historical treasures, the USS Constitution — known as "Old Ironsides." "Today the City of Boston gets a 'New Ironsides,' and I hope you will be as proud of her as we are," he said.
General Dynamics holds contracts for 15 of the fast attack submarines and for seven Trident ballistic missile subs.