October 24, 2004

"Man our ship and bring her to life"

"We cannot ever blink. We cannot ever flinch. We cannot yield." -- Senator John Warner, Virginia.

The latest and greatest in US submarine technology was commisioned today in Norfolk, Virginia. The USS Virginia is a fast attack submarine unlike any other before.

The 377-foot-long sub is the first to be built without a periscope, using a high-resolution digital camera instead. That meant the control room, which always had to be directly below the periscope, could be moved to a larger space in the sub's lower deck.

The Virginia also can launch unmanned undersea vehicles. Other improvements include a new computerized autopilot designed to reduce stress on the crew and a reconfigurable torpedo room that can hold extra beds for special operations forces.

With the ability to get close in shallow coastal waters, the Virginia class is designed to be versatile enough to deliver special forces for anti-terrorism operations as well as performing traditional open ocean missions.

Senator John Warner from Virginia, a former Secretary of the Navy, made specific mention of that mission in his keynote address:

"This ship will very definitely play a role in that war on terror."

The second ship of the class, the USS Texas, was commisioned in July at Newport News. Eight additional boats of the class are on order, and current plans call for a total of thirty.

Update: Rob straightened me out on the local Warner situation.

Senator JOHN Warner is a Republican, former SECNAV and married & divorced Elizabeth Taylor.

Governor MARK Warner is a Democrat, was never SECNAV and never married
Liz Taylor.

John, not Mark.

Thanks Rob, I always get 'em confused.

Posted by Ted at October 24, 2004 12:52 AM
Category: Military

...and in other news, another famous deep-sea submersible is finally being put out to pasture after 40 years...*sigh*


Posted by: Denita TwoDragons at October 24, 2004 06:22 PM
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