Keel laying

The keel of the 15th Virginia-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine named for Colorado was laid at the Rhode Island manufacturing plant for General Dynamics Electric Boat Division on Saturday, March 7, at 1:30 pm. Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams represented the state at the keel laying ceremony.

Commander Ken Franklin was designated to be the Commander of the USS Colorado
Commander Ken Franklin was designated to be the Commander of the USS Colorado

The construction milestone for SSN-788 was being marked at the North Kingstown shipyard. Annie Mabus, daughter of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, is the ship’s sponsor. She authenticated the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate. The initials were welded and the plate was permanently affixed to the ship.

By the way, the submarine doesn’t have a traditional keel that runs the length of the ship. USS Colorado is built in modules. Construction on the nuclear-powered fast attack submarine began in 2012. Colorado is slated to be delivered in 2017. When complete, the USS Colorado (SSN-788) will be a high-tech attack submarine. It is the third Navy ship to bear the name Colorado. The first was an armored cruiser commissioned in 1905. The second USS Colorado was a battleship that took part in the invasion of Tarawa during World War II.

USS Colorado is so-called Block III submarine. The Third Block of the Virginia-class submarine began construction in 2009. Block III submarines feature a revised bow with a Large Aperture Bow (LAB) sonar array, as well as technology from Ohio-class SSGNs (two Virginia Payload Tubes each containing 6 missiles). The horseshoe-shaped LAB sonar array replaces the spherical main sonar array, which has been used on all U.S. Navy SSNs since 1960. The LAB sonar array is water-backed – as opposed to earlier sonar arrays, which were air-backed – and consists of a passive array and a medium-frequency active array. Compared to earlier Virginia-class attack submarines about 40% of the bow has been redesigned.

Annie Mabus, ship sponsor of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN-788), delivers remarks during the ship's keel laying ceremony. Annie is the daughter of the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), Ray Mabus. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Armando Gonzales (Released)
Annie Mabus, ship sponsor of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN-788), delivers remarks during the ship’s keel laying ceremony. Annie is the daughter of the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), Ray Mabus. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Armando Gonzales (Released)

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat
Propulsion One S9G nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.5156 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

Leave a Reply