WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Submarine New Mexico Set for Va. Commissioning

March 26, 2010

The proud shipbuilders and the crew of the New Mexico on Thursday showed off the Navy's newest nuclear-powered submarine, as the sleek, black vessel was readied for its commissioning.

The Navy will commission the Virginia-class attack submarine on Saturday at Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest naval base. The $2.7 billion ship was built at nearby Northrop Grumman shipyard in Newport News in partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Two days before the ship's sponsor cries "bring her to life," sending its 134-member crew scrambling to the ship, pier 14 at shipyard was abuzz with activities. Workers checked the sound system on a podium wrapped in red, white and blue bunting and a steady stream of sailors and visitors squeezed into the submarine's three decks.

The ship is a modern shipbuilding marvel: the periscope famously portrayed in World War II movies has been replaced with cameras that deliver images in color, black and white and infrared to banks of big screens onboard.

The 7,800-ton ship can dive to depths greater than 800 feet, operate at speeds topping 25 knots and remain submerged for three months.

The New Mexico underwent a series of sea trials and other tests, sometime cramming 200 sailors, Navy brass and shipbuilders within its tight quarters.

"Oh, it performed wonderfully, wonderfully," said Cmdr. Mark A Prokopius, a Seven Hills, Ohio, native and the New Mexico's prospective commanding officer. "We had great sea trials."

The New Mexico ultimately will be home-ported in Groton, Conn.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we ask that you follow our rules for commenting. E-mail is required to comment on a story, but it will not be displayed with your comment. For complete rules, CLICK HERE. The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 89269917 - newsplex.com/a?a=89269917