According to Military.com, the Navy’s newest submarine is being dubbed the “most modern sub in the world.”
The recently commissioned USS South Dakota is the Navy’s 17th Virginia Class “fast-attack” submarine, designed to operate in a variety of environments, from the deep depths of the ocean to the shallow coastlines.
The ship is also said to offer surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and can “launch land-attack missiles, torpedoes, and mines.” Its stealthy operation allows the USS South Dakota to travel undetected, "collecting information, preparing for battle and, if necessary, striking from the deep swiftly and without warning.” This sub is manned 24/7 and features enhancements designed to improve its ability to detect threats and collect intel.
Interestingly enough, the USS South Dakota has another nickname: “America's first millennial submarine.”
Submarine builder Electric Boat, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, took five years to build the South Dakota, all the while addressing a challenging generational shift in the company's workforce.
Electric Boat says its labor pool has grown by about 5,500 over the past five years, and more than half of its team is now comprised of workers between the ages of 22 and 37 — a group which made up only 30% of its workforce at the start, showing that the company has a strong foundation on which to move forward, even in the face of the much-discussed skills gap and the exiting Baby Boomer workforce.
And it appears that the submarine built by millennials will also be served by millennials: Commander Craig Litty, the South Dakota crew’s commanding officer, says that nearly two-thirds of its sailors will be serving on a submarine for the first time their careers.