The USS John Warner, a Virginia-class attack submarine that was commissioned in 2015, is the US’ third newest sub.
We got the chance to tour the Warner as it was docked at at Naval Station Norfolk.
Named after former US Senator John Warner — but nicknamed the “Sledgehammer of Freedom” by the crew — the Warner can perform a variety of missions for the US Navy, including surveillance, reconnaissance, search and rescue, as well as launch land attack missiles, torpedos, and mines.
The Warner, and submarines in general, is highly classified and rarely seen by the public.
But we got to take a tour of it — here’s what we saw:
We walked onto to the submarine pier at Naval Station Norfolk as the sun was setting and the crew members were loading a special forces operation box onto the Warner.
The Warner is 377 feet long, 34 feet wide, and about 50 feet tall. We weren’t allowed to photograph the antennas atop the tower since they are classified.
The ship also has a displacement of 7,800 tons and can hit depths of 800 feet or more.
We then met our guide on the tour, Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub. He began by telling us about the cruise missile payload tubes on the front of the sub:
Overall, the Warner has a payload of 38 weapons along with special operating forces.