The USS Connecticut, the Navy’s 353-foot-long, multi-billion-dollar nuclear sub, hit something while it was submerged in the South China Sea earlier this month and is now in Guam for repairs.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet issued a press release saying that the Connecticut “stuck an object while submerged” in international waters. There were reports that 11 personnel were injured, but the press release said “there are no life-threatening injuries.” It also said “the submarine remains in a safe and stable condition.”
The nuclear reactor plant was not affected by the collision. But the sub took a week sailing on the surface to reach its repair facility on Guam. Once it arrived, the Navy said, two of the 11 sailors who were injured in the collision were treated on shore and returned to the boat.
The Navy has issued no further details, but it has launched two separate investigations. Launched in 1997, as one of three Sea Wolf-class attack subs, the Connecticut has a 40-foot beam and as well as a 40-foot draft. It carries 15 officers and 101 enlisted personnel.
When the Navy started planning the Sea Wolf subs in 1983, it estimated that each boat would cost $3.1 billion. That amount would be equal to $8.5 billion today. The Connecticut was designed to cruise underwater for an extended period of time, including under the ice in the Arctic. It is a highly sophisticated boat, often used to gather intelligence.
The Connecticut’s home port is at Kitsap-Bremerton in Washington state. In March, the sub was in the news because it was suffering from an infestation of bed bugs. Read more: