US Navy to commission newest Virginia-class submarine Washington
The US Navy is set to commission its future Virginia-class fast attack submarine, the future USS Washington (SSN 787), at Naval Station Norfolk.
The 377ft-long navy boat is the 14th Virginia-class nuclear submarine and the fourth Virginia-class Block III submarine. It will be the third vessel to be named after the US state of Washington.
US Navy Under Secretary Thomas Dee said: “The future USS Washington is among the most technologically advanced platforms in the world.
"This submarine not only represents the spirit, ingenuity, and strength of the American people but also recognises the critical role that the State of Washington provides to our national security."
With a width of 34ft, the Virginia-class submarine has a displacement capability of approximately 7,800t and can move at a speed of more than 25k.
Construction on the US Navy’s $2.6bn future USS Washington started in 2011.
Block III Virginia-class submarines are equipped with a redesigned bow that can replace 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, with each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The vessels have been specifically designed to operate in the world's littoral and deep waters while carrying out anti-submarine and surface ship warfare, special operation forces support, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
The Virginia-class fast attack vessels are developed as part of a construction contract between General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding.
While the keel on the future USS Washington was laid on 11 November 2014, the submarine was christened on 15 March last year and delivered to the US Navy on 25 May.
Image: A photo of a passageway aboard SSN 787. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey M. Richardson/Released.