Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sea Wolf 2.0

The Navy wants submarines focused on killing other submarines rather than for launching attacks or staging special forces teams against land targets:

The Navy plans to start purchasing this new class of submarine in 2034. Previously the SSN(X) class were assumed to be a successor to the current Virginia-class submarine, complete with the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) – a vertical launch system that increases the number of Tomahawk-sized weapons from 12 to 40 – and other acoustic and technological design improvements, according to the CBO analysis released Thursday.

However, the new SSN(X) will take the place of a Block 7 Virginia-class, and the planned design appears to prize increased torpedo storage over the VPM vertical launch capability. The new SSN(X) plans do not include VPM capability. When compared to the Block V Virginia-class submarines – the first built with the VPM – the CBO states the new SSN(X) will have 25 more torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles in the torpedo room.

We only built 3 Sea Wolfs (Sea Wolves?) before going to the cheaper Virginia for numbers when post-Cold War threats didn't justify the cost. That holiday from sea control is over.