For the first time in U.S. history,Washington will have a submarine named after it.
The USS Washington, which can launch 12 Tomahawk cruise missiles and support special operation forces, will be commissioned into the navy Saturday at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.
The Washington is the United States’ newest Virginia class attack submarine. It will be the 14th to join the Navy.
The Washington will be the third Navy ship but the first submarine named for the Evergreen State.
It can operate in coastal and deep-ocean waters.
The Washington features a redesigned bow that has two large tubes — each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. The Navy said that and other design changes reduced the sticker price while still maintaining war-fighting capabilities.
The Navy said the submarine will offer its commanders the ability to conduct special operation forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions along with mine warfare.
A reconfigurable torpedo room can accommodate a large number of special forces and their equipment.
“Up periscope!” will have a new meaning aboard the Washington. Traditional periscopes have been replaced by masts that have visible and infrared digital cameras on top of telescoping arms.
Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, is the ship’s sponsor.