WASHINGTON — After five years of construction, the US Navy’s newest attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788) is almost ready for its close-up.
The Virginia-class Block III boat features a redesigned bow to accommodate two large Virgina Payload Modules in lieu of 12 vertical launch tubes.
Simply put, the new missile tubes increase undersea lethality.
The Virgina Payload Modules allow the submarine to upgrade its firing ability from 12 Tomahawk missiles to 40.
“Colorado’s delivery brings another Block III Virginia-class submarine to the fleet within budget,” Navy Capt. Mike Stevens said in a statement. “The Colorado is the most capable Virginia-class submarine bringing advanced capabilities and technology to the Navy fleet.”
The primary functions of the nuclear reactor powered Virginia-class submarines are to conduct anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, support special operations forces, mine warfare missions as well as surveillance.
According to Naval Sea Systems Command, Colorado is the fifth of eight Virgina-class Block III submarines and is slated for commissioning in spring of 2018.