| Tuesday, February 22, 2005
| NEW NAVY SPY SUBMARINE READY FOR DUTY
The USS Jimmy Carter enters the Navy's fleet
as the most heavily armed submarine evrr built,
and as the last of the Seawolf class of attack
subs that the Pentagon ordered during the Cold
War's final years.
The $3.2 billion Jimmy Carter was comissioned
Saturday, signaling the end of an era in
submarining and more uncertain times for the
multibillion dollar industry.
The 453 foot, 12,000 ton submarine has a 50 torpedo
payload and eight torpedo tubes. And, according to
intelligence experts, it can tap undersea cables and
eavesdrop on the communications.
As the Pentagon looks to shrink the submarine fleet
and buy smaller, cheaper subs, the commissioning
ceremony harkens back to a time when ship builders
bustled to maintain an overpowering fleet of massive subs.
In easetern Connecticut, a region steeped in submarine
history and the home of the Electric Boat Shipyard,
which built and launched the Seawolves, some fear the
Pentagon will close the submarine base as part of the
Base Realignment and Closure initiative.
"It's hard to find a civilian that doen'st have some
connection to the sub force", said Bud Fay, who owns a
diner, car wash and laundry not far from the base gates
Capt. Robert D. Kelso, commander of the Jimmy Carter,
said BRAC has caused uncertainty on the base. "You can
make a good case to keep the base open...The Community
can be proud of this commissioning ceremony".
Saturday's ceremony will be the last comissioning in
Groton for years. Electric Boat and Newport News in
Virigina are teaming up to build the Viriginia class
submarines, which will be commissioned else where.
John Pike, a military analyst with globalsecurity.org,
said the ceremony closes the book on the big submarine era.
(abstracted from DAILYHERLAD/Associated Press)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 4:10 AM