1. Nov 1, 2012 10:47am

    This Is America’s New Ballistic Missile Submarine

    The U.S. Navy’s fleet of aging Ohio-class nuclear missile submarines are finally up for replacement after more than 30 years in service. The new nuclear-powered, ballistic missile toting submarine isn’t scheduled to be on deck until 2027, but in federal terms, that’s practically light speed.

    The new sub will be only slightly larger than the old one, but will have fewer missile tubes. It will also carry the same Trident II D5 nuclear warhead-tipped ballistic missiles. Smaller and slightly repetitive: sounds un-American, no? Well, take solace in the fact that like so many other improvements nowadays, this one is comprised mostly of better technology.

    As with planes, and now cars, the new Ohio-class subs will be fully drive-by-wire, with their onboard nuclear power plants generating electricity to drive electric propulsion motors. The move away from direct propulsion, along with high tech hull treatments, are expected to make the subs quieter that their predecessor; less detectable by sonar.

    All we really need to make this thing official is a Michael Bay film about heroic, video game-playing sailors defeating a mob of drunk, unshaven pirates from a former Soviet satellite state or something. (Hat tip to @attackerman)

    Photo credit: U.S. Naval Institute

     
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