The US Navy’s latest sub, the USS John Warner, has recently been unveiled to the public. The $2 billion submarine is part of the Virginia class and joined the Navy’s fleet last Saturday at the Norfolk Naval Station’s commissioning ceremony.
The USS John Warner’s technological features are the future of Navy submarines. This newest submarine was built without the iconic periscope, but instead uses photonic mast which allows the crew to use infrared and high-definition video technology to see and to stay hidden under the waters. In the command center there is a large screen that displays the information from the cameras which are controlled by joysticks.
“The commissioning of the USS John Warner marks the beginning of what is expected to be 40 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 United States Senator and, as one of my most esteemed predecessors as Secretary of the Navy,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “This ceremony is not only a celebration of a man who dedicated so much of his life to his country and to the Department of the Navy, but also a reminder of the partnership our Navy shares with the shipbuilding industry in Senator Warner’s home state of Virginia and the continued success of the Virginia-class attack submarine program.”
The first captain of the USS John Warner is Cmdr. Daniel Caldwell. Cmdr. Caldwell, who has served in the Navy for the past twenty-two years, has said that the USS John Warner is one of the coolest submarines that he has seen in his Naval career. The sub is armed with 12 Tomahawk cruise missiles and carries a crew of 135. It also has the capabilities to launch underwater vehicles or a team of Navy SEALS under the surface.
Construction began on 29 April 2009 with the keel laying ceremony being held on 16 March 2013. Because of the modular construction sequence, the submarine was reportedly already about 59% complete before the official keel laying. The submarine was christened on 6 September 2014.
The vessel supports 40 weapons, special operations forces, unmanned undersea vehicles, Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS).
John Warner was commissioned on 1 August 2015 with Commander Dan Caldwell as the Commanding Office