Nuclear attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN-788) was commissioned Saturday morning at the US Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton.
The 377-foot long and 7,800 ton submarine is said to be the US Navy’s most advanced undersea platform ever built. The USS Colorado will accommodate 138 officers and sailors.
Construction of Colorado started in 2012 and is the 15th Virginia-class fast attack submarine, and the fifth Virginia-class Block III submarine to be built.
“USS Colorado is a true marvel of technology and innovation, and it shows the capability that our industrial partners bring to the fight,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer in a press release. “Today’s world requires undersea platforms designed for dominance across a broad spectrum of regional and littoral missions.”
The Block III Virginia-class submarines have a redesigned bow with two large-diameter 87-inch Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. Three more Block III hulls are being built, according to the US Navy.
The Virginia Payload Tubes simplify construction, reduce acquisition costs, and due to their added volume provide for more payload flexibility than the smaller 12 individual Vertical Launch System tubes in earlier built Block I and Block II Virginia-class submarines, according to the Navy.