BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) - Submarine USS Ohio was set to leave Bremerton's Pier Delta today for its maiden voyage after being converted from carrying nuclear weapons to carrying cruise missiles.
The USS Ohio, the first Trident submarine ever built, entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on Nov. 15, 2002, for a $250 million, 1-year refueling and a $750 million, 2-year conversion. It rejoined the fleet on Feb. 7, 2006, and its crews have been training ever since.
Instead of carrying 24 Trident nuclear missiles, the 560-foot sub now is armed with up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles. It also can accommodate a 66-member special operations team that can leave and enter the sub underwater through missile tubes.
The Ohio is the first of 4 Trident submarines that will be converted to carry cruise missiles. The Navy says the Ohio will likely be deployed to the Western Pacific.