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Ohio Class SSBN on patrol.

JohnR

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I've been reading details of the new Successor Trident SSBN. I started to wonder how many US Ohio class are on patrol at any one time. Looking at the Royal Navies desire to have five boats in service to guarantee one at sea, that means 2.8 subs at once; so I assume one on each coast.

How many were planned to be at sea when the original 18 boats where in service.
 

chimeric oncogene

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IIRC, in the Cold War, you could expect just under half the fleet at sea at any given time. US subs were manned under a blue/gold crew system to maximize availability. So... six boomers or so? More in a crisis?
 

David N

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I've been reading details of the new Successor Trident SSBN. I started to wonder how many US Ohio class are on patrol at any one time. Looking at the Royal Navies desire to have five boats in service to guarantee one at sea, that means 2.8 subs at once; so I assume one on each coast.

How many were planned to be at sea when the original 18 boats where in service.
The RN, in the 1960s, wanted 5 boats to have 2 at sea. With 4 boats the had 1 always at sea and 2 for 70% of the time. That was when boats needed refueling about every 3 years. With lifetime cores and the same pressure as the was there at the height of the cold war I would expect that 4 boats could lead to 2 always at sea. (ex RN submarine engineer officer 1972-1984)
 

JohnR

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How ,often do the Ohios and Vanguards need to be refuelled?
 

SSgtC

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How ,often do the Ohios and Vanguards need to be refuelled?
The Ohio class get refueled once during their careers, around the 20 year mark. If you want to keep it in service longer, you'll have to refuel it again. IIRC, the Virginia class and upcoming Columbia class are designed with lifetime cores and won't be refueled during their time in service baring a fault in the design or a need to extend their service lives.
 

JohnR

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What are their respective design lives.
 

Josh_TN

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IIRC, in the Cold War, you could expect just under half the fleet at sea at any given time. US subs were manned under a blue/gold crew system to maximize availability. So... six boomers or so? More in a crisis?
I don't think the information is public, but I remember reading open source estimates that four of the fourteen Ohio's were on patrol station at any given time. Of the rest, 1-2 would be coming from or proceeding to a patrol station, two would generally be in some kind of overhaul (for New START this qualifies as 'undeployed'). So probably 5-6 in the water at any given moment, two in heavy maintenance, and the balance tied up at dock. This is someone's public source guess, though since they are usually visible in doc by satellite and there are only two boomer bases, it probably isn't far off.

Virginia I believe is designed to have a 35 year service life. The Ohio's do get refueled, though a second refueling is unlikely as the hulls also have a finite number of dive/surface cycles to them. It would be impractical to extend the Ohio's service life outside running them less often/less deep to slightly extend the core/hull life - the USN is apparently doing this with the LA class Flt 3's.
 

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