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Navy to commission fast attack sub USS Indiana on Saturday

By Stephen Feller
Navy to commission fast attack sub USS Indiana on Saturday
The Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit Indiana (SSN 789) departs Newport News Shipbuilding to conduct Alpha sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean. Indiana will be commissioned Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Port Canaveral, Fla. Photo by Matt Hildreth/General Dynamics Electric Boat/U.S. Navy

Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The USS Indiana, the U.S. Navy's newest fast attack submarine, will be commissioned this Saturday in Florida.

Diane Donald, wife of retired Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, will serve as the ship's sponsor at the commissioning, set for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Navy Port at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Port Canaveral, Fla. Adm. Donald was the director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion from 2004 to 2012.

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The commissioning will be streamed at the Navy Live blog on Saturday morning.

The Indiana is the 16th Virginia-class fast attack submarine, and sixth of the Block III class, commissioned into the Navy. The vessel will be the third to carry the name, following BB 1, which served during the Spanish-American War, and BB 58, which earned nine battle stars during service in the Pacific during World War 2.

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"The future USS Indiana shows the increased capabilities that our industrial partners bring to the fleet as we deliver the Navy the nation needs," Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said in a statement. "This submarine sends a signal to friend and foe alike that we will maintain supremacy under the waves, and extend our lethality and readiness in every domain."

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Construction of the submarine started in 2012, with it's keel laying held in 2015 at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. The vessel was christened at the same Huntington Ingalls shipyard in April 2017 by Donald.

The Virginia-class submarines, built by General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries, are designed for anti-submarine and anti-surface operations. The vessels are armed with torpedoes, Tomahawk cruise missiles and are capable of delivering special forces because of their ability to operate in shallow waters.

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