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The U.S. Navy said Wednesday it will name a new submarine for Utah the first combat vessel in years to bear a name from the Beehive State.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will formally announce the name 3 p.m. Monday at the City-County Building in Salt Lake City. The USS Utah will be a Virginia-class submarine.
Virginia-class submarines are typically named for states, and the Navy had been waiting to name the submarine whose registry number is to be 801 the telephone area code for Salt Lake City and most of the Wasatch Front.
Capt. Patrick McNally, a spokesman for the secretary, confirmed on Wednesday the number "was taken into consideration" when naming the vessel for Utah.
The USS Utah still needs to be constructed at Groton, Conn., and is expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2022, McNally said.
Virginia-class submarines are nuclear powered. The vessels are meant to provide defenses against enemy submarines, gather intelligence and conduct covert missions. They can fire torpedoes at vessels, or nuclear or conventional missiles at targets on land. Twelve Virginia-class subs are in service with more under construction or in the works, according to the Navy.
The submarine won't be the first vessel named for the state. A battleship named USS Utah first sailed in 1911. It was later converted into a target ship and was in port at Pearl Harbor during the 1941 attack by Japan. It was among the ships that sank in the attack.
According to the Navy, the only other naval vessel named for Utah or portions thereof and still in service is the Santaquin a tugboat named for the town in Utah County. The tug is in service at Guantanamo Bay Cuba.
Another submarine, the USS Salt Lake City, was in service from 1984 to 2005.
The last combat vessel to bear a Utah name was the USS Ogden. It was an amphibious transport ship in service from 1965 until 2007. She was purposely sunk by weapons fire during an exercise off the coast of Hawaii in 2014.