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US attack submarine sails into port

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The US Virginia-class attack submarine USS John Warner sailed into Gibraltar this morning.

The nuclear-powered submarine is on a scheduled visit, the Ministry of Defence said in a short statement.

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The submarine is designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions.

It can perform a variety of missions for the US Navy, including surveillance, reconnaissance and search and rescue, as well as launch land-attack missiles, torpedoes and mines.

Virginia-class submarines were conceived as a less expensive alternative to the Seawolf-class attack submarines designed during the Cold War era.

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They are replacing older Los Angeles-class submarines, 20 of which have already been
decommissioned.

The submarine is 377 feet long, has a 34-foot beam and is able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged.

It will operate for 33 years without ever refuelling.

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All photos by DM Parody