USS Washington Brought to Life, Commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk

Sailors render a salute during the commissioning ceremony for the Virginia Class Submarine USS Washington at Naval Station Norfolk. Washington is the U.S. Navy's 14th Virginia-class attack submarine and the fourth U.S. Navy ship named for

USS Washington Brought to Life, Commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk

A Los Angeles-class attack submarine made a stop in the South Korean port of Jinhae, the U.S. Navy and South Korean officials confirmed Wednesday. Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, served as the submarine's sponsor.

Block III Virginia-class attack subs are fitted with the Virginia Payload Modules (VPM) - larger tubes that increase the ship's missile payload created to lower costs (See: "US Subs Getting Fire Power Boost").

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Washington is the fourth of eight Block III Virginia-class submarines to be built. The original contract called for a ceiling cap of over $21 billion dollars, with more than $15 billion dollars - or 73 percent of the ultimate contract value - being distributed with the USS Washington's delivery to the Navy. Gabriel Cavazos, highlighted the Washington's capability to dominate the undersea domain and enable military success in any engagement.

According to the U.S. Navy, Virginia-class boats are multi-mission platforms designed "to fulfill the seven core competencies of the U.S. Navy's submarine force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and mine warfare", as I reported elsewhere. The Virginia-class is being built in block increments, with Block I and Block II boats already delivered to the U.S. Navy.

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Washington is a flexible, multi-mission platform created to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and mine warfare. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities: sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. The sub is capable of reaching underwater speeds of up to 25 knots and can operate for 30 years without refueling.

Construction on Washington began September 2011; the submarine's keel was authenticated during a ceremony on November 22, 2014; and the submarine was christened during a ceremony March 5, 2016.

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