An image of the U.S. Navy’s Virginia class submarine, the USS Mississippi, appeared on the cover of Honolulu’s Star Advertiser earlier this week, as the submarine returned to its home port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Although the image itself is a pleasant one, depicting the massive nuclear submarine juxtaposed against the serene landscape of the Hawaiian Islands, a closer inspection betrays a serious problem facing America’s fleet of tactical submarines: the sound proofing material is peeling off of the hull of the ship.
Virginia class submarines are the most advanced in the world, boasting a nuclear power source, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and MK48 torpedoes. These submarines are tasked with hunting down and targeting enemy submarines and surface vessels, as well as force projection onto land-based theaters through its supply of cruise missiles. The submarines are stealthy killers with enough firepower to be considered formidable opponents for anything else the world has to offer… but a failure in the glue used to adhere the sound proofing coating that keeps these submarines difficult to detect may be putting our submarine force at risk.
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