The US Navy has fielded a new attack submarine, the 377 foot-long vessel, which will be used in both fighting and surveillance missions.
Called Colorado, it will be the 15th Virginia-class submarine in the US Navy. The vessel which costs about $2.7 billion will be unveiled at the Naval base in Connecticut, reports Popular Mechanics (PM).
The attack submarine is designed to fight other submarines and surface ships as well as deliver Special Operations troops to battlefields, notes the report.
It weighs 7,800 tons under water and can fire Tomahawk missiles from its two large tubes which hold six missiles each.
One of the standout features of this sub is that it will come equipped with Xbox controllers to operate its photonics mast- the first of its kind to have these. Photonics masts are optical instruments that have been built to replace periscopes on subs, notes the report. Other submarines in the Navy use joysticks.
The idea to use off-the-shelf tech like game controllers for vital parts is not just to save money and time spent on development, explained said Reed Koepp, Colorado's commanding officer, but also to have young sailors walk into the vessel already knowing how to use it.
Colorado will have a crew of 130 men, reports PM, and no women have been assigned to this sub. So far the Navy has reportedly integrated only one-fifth of its submarine crews.
"Compared to prior generations of submarines, Colorado is bigger, faster and overall much more capable, and should serve as a compelling deterrent to our adversaries," said US Representative Joe Courtney.
The Colorado attack submarine was built by General Dynamics Electric Boat in Connecticut and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, the report says.
It is not clear at this point where Colorado will be stationed, and if it will be carrying nuclear warheads or not. Other details, including artificial intelligence (AI) compatibility, is not yet known.
In February this year, DARPA announced the launch of their "Sea Hunter" project- a 132 foot-long unmanned submarine drone- the largest in the world. It can traverse the seas for months on end without a single human being on board and will be used for surveillance.