John Warner

Huntington Ingalls Industries‘ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division has delivered the US Navy’s 12th Virginia-class submarine, pre-commissioning unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785).

The US Navy’s new Virginia-class vessel is an advanced stealth multi-mission nuclear-powered submarine for deep-ocean anti-submarine warfare and littoral (shallow water) operations.

The new submarine is named after John Warner, who served in both the navy and Marine Corps, and was secretary of the navy from 1972 to 1974.

PCU John Warner commanding officer commander Dan Caldwell said: "Today, we are excited to join the operational fleet and to bring Senator Warner’s legacy back to the navy, carrying on his tradition of service to our nation.

"The crew and the ship have performed exceptionally well during the acceptance trials, and we are prepared and excited to conduct the operational missions which await us."

"We are excited to join the operational fleet and to bring Senator Warner’s legacy back to the navy,"

With a displacement of 7,800t, hull length of 377ft, and a diameter of 34ft, the Virginia-class submarines can cruise at speeds in excess of 25k, while diving to more than 800ft deep.

Catering to the latest mission requirements, including anti-submarine, surface-ship warfare, and special operations support, the vessels can carry the Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land-attack missiles, and unmanned underwater vehicles.

NNS is working in collaboration with General Dynamics (GD) Electric Boat to build Virginia-class submarines.

In May, NNS achieved a milestone in the construction of the US Navy’s 16th Virginia-class submarine Indiana (SSN 789), with the keel laying ceremony. It is expected to be delivered in 2017.

Image: The Virginia-class attack submarine pre-commissioning unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785). Photo: courtesy of Chris Oxley / HII.