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New USS South Dakota submarine to be commissioned on February 2, 2019.

| 2019

The Navy’s newest fast-attack submarine, USS South Dakota (SSN 790) will be commissioned at naval submarine base New London in Connecticut, on February 2, 2019. It is the seventeenth Virginia-class submarine to join the US fleet.

SSN 789 925 001 USS Indiana SSN 789 (Picture source : US Navy)

The USS South Dakota is 377 feet long, is able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and to reach speeds up to 25 knots when submerged. Its fuel capacity will allow it to operate up to 30 years without ever refuelling.

It has been created to operate in both coastal and deep-ocean environments. It will be armed with anti-submarine weapons, antisurface ship systems, strike weapons and will be able to provide special operation forces (SOF) support. This vessel will also be able to ensure intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

It is a Block III submarine, designed to replace the 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with 2 large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs). Each VPT is able to launch 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Traditional periscopes have even been replaced by 2 photonics masts that host both visible and infrared cameras at the top of telescoping arms.

The SSN 790 includes a reconfigurable torpedo room accommodating a large amount of SOF personnel and all their equipment, permitting them to act from the vessel itself.

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