When we talk about naval vessels, the stealthier and more armed, the better! After all, those qualities come in very handy when it comes to warfare. Plenty of research goes into the design and construction of these beauties. It goes without saying that it is not easy to turn a powerful vessel into reality. The major world powers are now racing to create the best submarines. Let us take a look at the United States Navy’s efforts to make something that will edge out its competitors. They clearly have their eyes on the prize. It was designed to beat the rest, but only time will tell if this will come true.
Worried About Russian Submarine Activity
The United States Navy has been concerned about the rise in underwater activity in the East Coast and the North Atlantic. What is worrying is the fact that it is coming from Russian vessels! Well, this is a valid concern to have. After all, it is always good to stay alert regarding your waters and those who encroach on them. With these vessels’ size, it feels like a threat when they get a little too close.
Russian Subs Have Been Called The Best Out There
They say that the Russian attack submarines are the best in the world. The truth is that the Akula and Alfa types of nuclear attack submarines used to rule the oceans. They were second to none in the world at one point in history. This is no laughing matter whatsoever. The Yasen class of submarines, however, is fiercer than these two! Knowing all of that, you should be able to imagine just how amazing it is.
The Yasen Class Has Topnotch Stealth And Firepower
The Yasen class submarines have state-of-the-art stealth and firepower. The Russian Navy went all out on the model in question. It was actually crafted to serve as a multi-purpose nuclear-fueled attack cruise missile submarine. Isn’t that a mouthful? On top of that, the Russians continue to work on its development to be as good as it can be. We cannot wait to see what the final product will be like.
They Are Building A New Class Known As The 545 Laika
The newest vessel in the Russian navy lineup would be the 545 Laika class. This is part of the latest plan of the Russian Armed Forces. Considering how amazing the Yasen class was, it makes sense for the U.S. Navy to feel quite worried about it. After all, the predecessor was already amazing as it was. There is a good chance that this will be even better thanks to recent advancements in technology.
This New Submarine Will No Doubt Be A Speed Demon
There is speculation that the Laika class will come with elements from the Yasen and Yasen-M classes. It would mean that it will probably have a maximum surface speed of 23 mph and 32 mph underwater. There is a chance that it will go as fast as 40 mph below the water!
The Plan Is To Make A Heavily Armed Submarine
The Laika class will feature 8 BLS missile silos. In turn, these might have the Onix anti-ship cruise missiles and the KALIBR cruise missiles. Moreover, it will have ten torpedo tubes. These are fascinating features that will lend it more power, but they are not the causes of concern for the United States Navy.
A New Weapon Is In The Works As Well
The Laika class will also feature a new weapon called the 3M22 Zircon Hypersonic. This cruise missile will hit ships at sea and land targets with a speed of Match 9. As you can imagine, this will make things more difficult for the United States Navy. It will have to work hard to counter such attacks.
The Russian Submarine Fleet Is Among The Biggest
The Russian Federation has one of the largest submarine fleets in the world. It comes with nuclear and conventional attack subs. Aside from that, they only have ballistic and cruise missiles on the guided-missile subs! Many of the units have long-range nuclear weapons. What did the U.S. Navy do about this?
Do Not Overlook The U.S. Navy Either
It would be impossible to deny that Russian subs are both efficient and deadly. However, the U.S. Navy is not defenseless as they also have respectable attack and missile submarines. So that you know, they are not just sitting back and doing nothing as their rival works on the Laika sub.
The New Class Is Still In The Planning Stage
You see, the Russian Navy is only planning to begin the construction of its Laika Class in 2023. This gives the US. Navy a lot of time designing their own submarine that could give it a run for its money.
The Wait For The Next Class of US Attack Submarines
Mind you. The U.S. Navy is planning to introduce new fast attack submarines under the SSN(X) program. The model will be designed for improved speed and upgraded underwater stealth conditions. Mind you. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Let us get to know it some more.
It Will Come With An Improved Stealth Mode
The Los Angeles class of nuclear-fueled fast attack submarines is currently among the stealthiest units on the U.S. Navy fleet. Can you believe that the SSN(X) will be 70 times stealthier than it? Whoa. Even though this is already very impressive, this is not even its best feature.
Armaments Are Going To Be The Top Priority
What else? Well, the SSN(X) class will also have a larger weapons inventory. Aside from that, it will also boast up to 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles. It might be interesting to speculate about these things, but how will it compare with its predecessors? Will it look anything like them?
Like A New And Improved Design Of The Seawolf Class
They say that the new submarine is going to look a lot like the Seawolf-class. This is pretty much the end of their similarities, however. It is going to be bigger, faster, and quieter than older submarine classes. The Seawolf relies on nuclear submarine tech, so the SSN(X) may also use this.
It Would Able To Communicate With Other Vessels
Aside from that, the SSN(X) class will have great networking capabilities. This will allow it to share info with other subs, planes, and ships when keeping up with enemy vessels. When we talk about this upcoming model, we will remember that it is made to compete with a powerful new threat.
The UUVs Will Wreak Havoc On Unprepared Vessels
Russia and China make crewless undersea vehicles that are also known as the UUVs. The vessels are crafted to swarm and attack both subs and carriers. When they attack, the targets would be vulnerable unless they came prepared. We are sure that you want to know when the SSN(X) will be ready.
There Is Still A Long Way To Go Before The Construction
The SSN(X) program might be slated to debut in 2031, but the construction will only begin in 2034. The U.S. Navy is planning to buy two units each year after that. We bet that you are curious about why it will take such a long time to get here.
Why It Will Take Such A Long Time
This will give the experts enough time to sort out everything that concerns the submarine. They would choose what technology to use to give it the features that it needs. On top of that, they want to finish the design once the rival submarines have been deployed. Can you guess how much it will cost?
You Will Never Guess How Much It Will Cost
Fair enough, we are still in the early stages. Even so, the United States Navy already has an estimate for it. According to them, a single SSN(X) class unit will set us back by around $5.5 billion. That is a lot of money. Once you see the size of these things, it will make more sense.
Going To Be Even Larger Than The Sea Wolf Class
The SSN(X) needs a lot of features and armaments to keep up with its competition. This means that it needs a bigger hull than those found in its predecessors. For reference, the former is capable of carrying 9,100 tons. On the other hand, the latter has a capacity of 7,800 tons.
Two Types Of Fuel Might power the Engine
When you have a huge vessel, it is only natural that it will take a lot of power to power it. The new design will need an engine that runs not only on diesel-electric but also on nuclear power. However, it is going to require much planning to turn this into reality.
They Are Focusing On Conducting More Studies
Right now, the SSN(X) is still on the drawing board. There is a long way to go before we get to see it in action. At the moment, the budget proposal drawn up by the Navy suggests that it is still studying the costs, the operational concepts, and the projected industrial base capabilities. Things might still change.
Stealth, Speed, And Survivability Are Of Utmost Importance
The team working on the program is planning to launch advanced tech development in areas like speed, stealth, and survivability. It is going to be a huge investment that will cost billions of dollars. This is the reason they have to do their research. After all, it would be awful if it turns out to be a failure.
Why This Submarine Is Going To Be Very Special
But what makes the SSN(X) so special anyway? For one thing, it will have an improved transit speed when in stealth mode regardless of the type of environment. The Virginia Class and older models will have nothing on them. Thanks to this feature, it will also have better multi-mission capabilities.
Time To Say Goodbye To The Old, In With The New
In the end, the United States Navy aims to use what it has learned from previous submarine classes. It is going to get rid of features that flopped but use the ones that worked. Of course, the SSN(X) class will also come with new technology that was not available in the past. If you are a fan of awesome technology developments, you should keep your eyes peeled for this one. We can’t wait for its launch! Honestly, we are sure that it is going to be even better than anything we can imagine.