The U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS John Warner (SSN-785) arrived in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory on Spain’s south coast, on March 25, 2018.
The submarine entered HM Naval Base Gibraltar accompanied by HMS Scimitar (P284), a Scimitar-class fast patrol boat from the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron.
USS John Warner (SSN-785)
USS John Warner (SSN-785) is the first Virginia-class submarine to be named after a person; the first 11 Virginia-class subs were named after states.
John Warner was originally to be built by the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics (GDEB) in Groton, Connecticut but the contract was later transferred to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding.
This ship is the second of the Block III subs, which will have a revised bow and some technology from Ohio-class cruise missile submarines (SSGN). The vessel supports 40 weapons, special operations forces (SOF), unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV), Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS).
The name was announced on 8 January 2009, five days after John Warner, a Republican from Virginia, retired after serving 30 years as a United States Senator. John Warner is one of a few U.S. Navy vessels to be named for a living person, and only the third American nuclear-powered submarine with this distinction, after the USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), a Los Angeles-class submarine, and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23), a Seawolf-class submarine.
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.
John Warner was commissioned on 1 August 2015 with Commander Dan Caldwell as the Commanding Officer.
The submarine is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam and is able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. It will operate for 33 years without ever refueling.
Virginia-class submarines can perform a variety of missions for the US Navy, including surveillance, reconnaissance and search and rescue, as well as launch land-attack missiles, torpedoes and mines.