The U.S. Navy’s newest fast-attack submarine USS Indiana (SSN 789) will be commissioned at the Navy Port at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Port Canaveral, Florida on Sept. 29, 2018.
The vessel will be the sixteenth Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarine to join the Navy fleet.
The future USS Indiana will be the third U.S. Navy ship, and first submarine, to be commissioned with a name honoring the state of Indiana.
She was constructed by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in partnership with the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics (GDEB) in Newport News, Virginia, with the initial contract awarded on 22 December 2008. Her keel was laid on 16 May 2015 and she was launched on 9 June 2017. She was christened on 29 April 2017 and sponsored by Diane Donald, wife of Admiral Kirkland H. Donald, USN (ret).
Designed to operate in both coastal and deep-ocean environments, Indiana will present leadership with a broad and unique range of capabilities, including anti-submarine warfare (ASW); anti-surface ship warfare (ASuW); strike warfare; special operation forces (SOF) support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions.
USS Indiana is a part of the Virginia-class’ third, or Block III, contract, in which the Navy redesigned approximately 20 percent of the ship to reduce acquisition costs. Indiana features a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes each capable of launching six Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles (LACM), among other design changes that reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.
Indiana has special features to support SOF, including a reconfigurable torpedo room which can accommodate a large number of SOF and all their equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads. Also, in Virginia-class SSNs, traditional periscopes have been replaced by two photonics masts that host visible and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms. Through the extensive use of modular construction, open architecture and commercial off-the-shelf components, the Virginia class is designed to remain at the cutting edge for its entire operational life through the rapid introduction of new systems and payloads.