WASHINGTON, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - The newest US attack submarine designed to work in shallow waters, the USS North Dakota, is slated to be commissioned by the US Navy at Groton, Connecticut Saturday, a statement published on the Pentagon's website Friday said.
"The USS North Dakota and her crew represent the finest we have to offer in our Navy's undersea force," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, who will deliver the principal address Saturday, said in the statement.
According to the Navy, the North Dakota can attack targets close to shore and conduct long-term surveillance of land areas from shallow or "littoral waters", like those in the Persian Gulf, according to the statement.
The North Dakota will hold 14 officers and 120 enlisted men and can hold two missile tubes which can carry six Tomahawk cruise missiles each, the same type of missiles currently used in military operations by the US, the US Department of Defense confirmed.
The Navy asked General Dynamics Electric Boat, the contractor for the project, that the North Dakota have portions of the ship redesigned to make it more effective in the delivering military special force teams.
The North Dakota, part of the Virginia-class subs, is replacing the aging Los Angeles-class attack boats, which have been the workhorse of the U.S. fleet.
The 377-foot North Dakota was supposed to be commissioned in May, but problems with some components required repairs in dry dock.
The redesigned bow also required more certification, the Navy reported. Electric Boat has already delivered ten such ships and is expected to deliver eight more, according to General Dynamics.
A ship commissioning is the act of bringing the vessel officially into duty.