"In these days of tighter budgets, all government agencies must find creative ways to raise money for operating funds. As a result, I have today directed that naming rights for future naval vessels will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.What a way to start a new month...
"This does not mean we won't continue to honor our heritage. Traditionally, names of all ships within a class have been related. Therefore, naming rights for follow-on Ford-class carriers will be limited to automobile manufacturers. I expect to announce the official naming of USS General Motors (CVN 79) within the next week.
"Bidders for naming rights to major surface ships will be limited to companies listed on the Fortune 500. The second Zumwalt-class destroyer will be christened USS Microsoft (DDG 1001). Amphibious ships will be named for foreign countries; each winning bid comes with a guarantee that the ship will not be used to invade its namesake.
"In another return to tradition, submarines following USS Mississippi (SSN 782) will be named after fish... restaurants. The keel for USS Long John Silver (SNN 783) will be laid early next year."
Update 03 April 2008: In addition to these changes in the way we name boats, SubSim reported the same day on changes coming in the manning (or, in this case, wo-manning) of submarines.
Update 1758 04 April: The Russians must use a different calendar; their April Fool's press release came out three days late:
MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will put its first Borey-class strategic nuclear submarine through sea trials in the second half of 2008, the Russian Navy commander said on Friday.Ha ha! Those Russian Admirals, always going on with their jokes and quips...
The fourth generation Yury Dolgoruky was built at the Sevmash plant in the northern Arkhangelsk Region and was taken out of dry dock last April. It will be equipped with Bulava ballistic missiles upgraded from Topol-M (SS-27) missiles.
"The Yury Dolgoruky will go to sea in July. If not in July, then in October or November," Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said.