The new Navy submarine has been dubbed its “most lethal warship” and weighs 7,800 tons, is 337 feet long, and contains about $2 billion worth of steel and stealth. The controls only the vessel reportedly resemble those of an action-packed arcade game. Commander Daniel Caldwell recently took the new warship, the USS John Warner, to the Norfolk Naval Station for a commissioning ceremony.
The John Warner sub utilizes a photonic mast which boasts a “high-definition infrared video” camera to permit the Virginia class attack submarine sailors to immediately view information on large monitors in the command center. The Navy’s most lethal warship’s technological prowess allows sailors to see without being seen.
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“The shiniest and coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my military career,” Commander Caldwell, a 22-year Navy veteran, said during an interview with CNN. “It’s going to make whatever I do next anti-climactic.”
Two sailors in the front of the John Warner sub drive the warship. The Navy members function in a pilot and co-pilot fashion while seated in front of a curved wall of video monitors. The new technology used on the lethal warship cut the number of sailors required to drive the vessel in half.
A total of 12 tomahawk cruise missiles are mounted on the vessel. The missile can reportedly be launched from massive bays at the front of the submarine. Several MK48 torpedoes, which are fired from a series of four tubes, are mounted from the sides of the sub. The vessel is capable of holding a crew of 135 members.
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Even though the Navy sub is loaded with heavy weaponry, it can still reportedly move swiftly through the water and possesses the finesse to easily launch unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) and can carry Navy SEALS to their intended destination without breaking surface waters.
“Every mission that we do, we’re just better at it than previous classes of submarines,” Commander Caldwell said. “We do some pretty complicated missions in some parts of the world that are pretty unforgiving environments to operate in. You gotta make sure that the crew is ready to go do the mission you are assigned.”
The high-tech sub can also be used as an education module by offering on-site simulation training.
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“We’ll be pushing the same buttons we’re going to push when we go out to sea,” Caldwell added.
Even though the John Warner carries a hefty price tag for taxpayers, it was reportedly built for less than half the cost of its predecessor — the Seawolf. Only three Virginia class Seawolf submarines were ever built. The vessel reportedly came in under budget and before its slated deadline.
A total of 41 of the Los Angeles-class subs commissioned in 1976 are still in service, but will soon reach the end of their effective lifespan.
What do you think about the Navy’s most lethal warship?
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