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The USS John Warner Fast Attack Submarine Enters Service with XXL Tubes and AUVs

Say hello to the new hunter killer SUV of the future-present. The US Navy has just taken delivery of the latest nuclear boat, which is in service as of August 1st. USS John Warner (SSN-785) was named in 2009, laid down in 2013 and comes with new features.
The USS John Warner Fast Attack Submarine Enters Service with XXL Tubes and AUVs 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
This is a Block III sub of the famous Virginia class that has been with us for quite some time. Compared to its predecessor, the Block II, about 40% of the bow has been redesigned.

Just like on its sister sub that is already in service (the USS North Dakota), a new Large Aperture Bow (LAB) sonar array has been installed, a horseshoe-shaped system that replaces the spherical main sonar array which US submarines have been using for nearly 50 years.

The biggest challenge was to adapt the structure for affordability

But the biggest change is that the bow has been designed for affordability. Today's wars are not about apocalyptic scenarios where the Russians and Americans launch 1,000 nukes at each other. Instead, one or two missile deployments are enough.

Thus, this 12th boat of the Virginia class has a redesigned "front end". More specifically, two gigantic vertical launch tubes have been installed. For the record, older models featured 12, independent 533mm vertical launch doors and tubes.

Th Tomahawk has gained GPS, large wings, cameras and boosters, but it's essentially a 40-year old design. Now, US Navy submarines will have the capability to launch any missile, both small and bit.

The Virginia class has always been about offering hiding for long periods of time and having multi-mission capabilities. The USS John Warner can be equipped to deploy, recover and charge autonomous underwater vehicles (UAV). Yes, those are like the drones of the sea, and they could be invaluable if another Kursk incident occurs. Teams of navy seals can also e deployed without surfacing.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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