US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jared Bunn
- The US Navy commissioned the USS South Dakota on Saturday and, in doing so, ushered in a new era of millennial undersea war fighters and the most technologically advanced submarine hunter-killer on earth.
- The South Dakota can be thought of as "America’s first millennial submarine," because it was built by mostly millennials and will be manned by millennials too.
- It’s also the deadliest submarine for undersea combat the US has ever put to sea.
The US Navy commissioned the USS South Dakota on Saturday and, in doing so, ushered in a new era of millennial undersea warfighters and the most technologically advanced submarine hunter-killer on Earth.
"I think we can honestly call South Dakota ‘America’s first millennial submarine’ from construction to operation," Joe Courtney, a congressman from Connecticut, said at the South Dakota’s commissioning.
While millennials across the board make up the majority of the US’s combat servicemembers in any service, the South Dakota was built by shipbuilder Electric Boat, whose workforce is more than half millennial, The Day reports.
"The rise of the millennial generation emerging to lead Electric Boat’s important work for the country, I believe, is a powerful rebuttal of cynics and naysayers that say that American manufacturing and technological excellence are a thing of the past," Courtney said.
In the slides below, meet the young sailors and new submarine that makes the South Dakota the most modern and fearsome submarine in the world today.
US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Hoskins
The South Dakota is a fast attack submarine, which trades the world-ending nuclear might of a ballistic missiles submarine or "boomer," as it’s known, for Tomahawk cruise missiles, mines, and torpedoes.
Boomer submarines hide in oceans around the world on the longshot chance the US may call upon them to conduct nuclear warfare. These submarines are not to be seen, and avoid combat.
But fast attack subs like the South Dakota meet naval combat head-on.
One weapon makes the South Dakota a force to be reckoned with up to 1,500 miles inland: the Tomahawk. The South Dakota can hold dozens of these land-attack missiles.
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Samuel Souvannason/US Navy
Fast attack submarines like the South Dakota serve as a door-kicker, as one did in 2011 when the US opened its campaign against Libya with a salvo of cruise missiles from the USS Michigan. These submarines also must hunt and sink enemy ships and submarines in times of combat, and the South Dakota is unmatched in that department.
In the torpedo room, sailors sleep and work around the clock in case they get orders to track and kill enemy subs.
Chief Petty Officer Darryl Wood
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Source: Business Insider