The U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of its newest Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, the future USS Colorado (SSN-788) on Sept. 21.
The vessel, which is the 15th Virginia-class SSN, was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB).
The ship’s sponsor is Annie Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
The submarine will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with the name Colorado. The first Colorado was a three-masted steam screw frigate that participated in the Union Navy’s Gulf Blockading Squadron that fought in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher with then-Lt. George Dewey serving as her executive officer. In the early years of the 20th Century, the second Colorado (ACR-7) was a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser that escorted convoys of men and supplies to England during World War I. The third ship of her name, the lead ship of the Colorado class of battleships (BB-45), supported operations in the Pacific theater throughout World War II, surviving two kamikaze attacks and earning seven battle stars.
The ship began construction in 2012 and is scheduled to commission in spring 2018. This next-generation attack submarine provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority.
The submarine is 377-feet long, displaces 7,800 tons, and is equipped to carry torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Colorado is the fifth Virginia-class Block III submarine featuring a redesigned bow with enhanced payload capabilities, replacing 12 individual vertical launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk missiles.
This, among other design changes, reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.
Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions.
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.
Team Submarine Public Affairs