US Navy to commission new Virginia-class submarine, USS John Warner

30 July 2015 (Last Updated July 30th, 2015 18:30)

The US Navy is set to commission its newest Virginia-class submarine, John Warner (SSN 785), strengthening country's underwater capabilities.

John Warner

The US Navy is set to commission its newest Virginia-class submarine, John Warner (SSN 785), strengthening country's underwater capabilities.

The commissioning of the 12th Virginia-class submarine will take place at Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, tomorrow.

Built as part of a teaming arrangement between HII's Newport News Shipbuilding division and General Dynamics Electric Boat, John Warner features sophisticated technology to improve firepower, manoeuvrability and stealth.

US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said: "The commissioning of USS John Warner marks the beginning of what is expected to be 33 years of distinguished service for this great submarine, a fitting tribute to a man who served his nation for so long as a sailor, a Marine, a US Senator and, as one of my most esteemed predecessors as secretary of the navy."

"The commissioning of USS John Warner marks the beginning of what is expected to be 33 years of distinguished service."

John Warner is the first Virginia-class submarine to be named after a person, Senator John W. Warner, while the remaining submarines have been named after US states.

With a displacement of 7,800t, hull length of 377ft and a diameter of 34ft, the Virginia-class submarines can cruise at a maximum speed of more than 25k, and dive more than 800ft deep.

They can be armed with Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land-attack missiles and unmanned underwater vehicles, and be used for anti-submarine, surface-ship warfare, and special operations support.

The submarines of the class will also support a range of warfare missions including anti-submarine, anti-surface ship, strike, irregular and mines, in addition to special operation forces support, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.


Image: The US Navy's 12th Virginia-class submarine John Warner (SSN 785). Photo: courtesy of Chris Oxley / HII.