Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that SSN 795, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Hyman G. Rickover.
Mabus named the submarine to honor U.S. Navy Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the man credited for developing USS Nautilus (SSN 571), the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine.
This is the second nuclear attack sub to be named after ADM Rickover. The first was an early Los Angeles class boat, now decommissioned.
We’re generally weary of the SecNav fooling around with the naming conventions for commissioned vessels, but in this case, we’ll make an exception. First, the submarine service has a history of naming the occasional ship after a prominent person, outside naming convention of a particular class of boats. Second, while Rickover was indeed highly political, he wasn’t particularly partisan. Third, it could have been much worse.