Norfolk, VA–The Navy will commission its newest fast attack submarine, the future USS John Warner (SSN 785), during a Saturday morning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, VirginiaVa.
John Warner, designated SSN 785, honors Sen. John W. Warner for a lifetime of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia and to the United States of America as a trusted leader, statesman and public servant. He wore the uniform of our nation as both a Marine and sailor and served as the 61st Secretary of the Navy, 1972-1974.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Jeanne Warner, wife of Sen. Warner, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
“The commissioning of USS John Warner marks the beginning of what is expected to be 33 years of distinguished service for this great submarine – a fitting tribute to a man who served his nation for so long as a sailor, a Marine, a United States Senator and, as one of my most esteemed predecessors as Secretary of the Navy,” said the Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy.
“This ceremony is not only a celebration of a man who dedicated so much of his life to his country and to the Department of the Navy, but also a reminder of the partnership our Navy shares with the shipbuilding industry in Senator Warner’s home state of Virginia and the continued success of the Virginia-class attack submarine program.”
Warner (SSN 785) is the 12th Virginia-class fast attack submarine. While other Virginia-class submarines have been named after U.S. states, SSN 785 holds the distinction of being the first to be named after a person. This next-generation attack submarine provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. It will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements.
Warner has the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. It is also designed for special forces Special Forces delivery and support, a subject Warner worked on throughout his career in the U.S. Senate.
Virginia-class submarines are 7,800 tons and 377 feet in length, have a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. They are built with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.