Updated: 09/13/2013 12:18 PM KSTP.com By: Mark Albert
ABOARD THE USS MINNESOTA OFF THE COAST OF FLORIDA-- America's newest weapon in the water is stealth, silent, and submerged off the Eastern shore.
It's a fast-attack nuclear submarine that can go 80 stories deep - or more - and then shoot up at a 27-degree angle to pounce undetected.
It's called the USS Minnesota, a Virginia-class sub finally plying the water after five years of construction.
On Sept. 7, 2013, the US Navy will commission the sub, making it an official part of the fleet.
In January, we gave you an exclusive look at the submarine as it was being built at a shipyard in Virginia.
Now, for the first time, we can take you inside.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Mark Albert and photojournalist Chad Nelson were the only Minnesota media allowed aboard the sub for a two-day visit in August, as the 7,800 ton submarine headed out to sea.
Watch our story in the video box above.
Click here to watch an extended interview with Cmdr. John Fancher, the captain of the submarine, who's married to an Edina High School graduate.
Click here to watch our exclusive coverage from Jan. 14, 2013, of the USS Minnesota being built in Newport News, Virginia.
Click here to learn more about the USS Minnesota.
Click here to learn more about US Navy attack submarines.
Click here to watch an interview with 18 year-old Jakob Bartels, of Roseville, who beat 110 other high school students from 33 schools in designing the official logo of the USS Minnesota.
Click here to watch an interview with the president of the Twin Cities Council of the Navy League of the United States, an organization trying to raise money for commissioning gifts for the crew, the Chairman’s Reception, the collectible publication, and more.