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SSN (X) - Seawolf Redux or something far larger?

Ironmiked

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Navy's Next Attack Submarine Will Be Wider And Based On The New Columbia Class Missile Boats​

The SSN(X) design will be wider than the present Virginia class, offering improved capabilities and increased stealthiness underwater.​


Does anyone have any thoughts on displacement, size and weapon load-out for the this prospective follow-on to the Virginia Class SSNs?

"Unlike the Virginia Class Submarine, which was designed for multi-mission dominance in the littoral, SSN(X) will be designed for greater transit speed under increased stealth conditions in all ocean environments, and carry a larger inventory of weapons and diverse payloads," the budget request continues. "While SSN(X) will be designed to retain multi-mission capability and sustained combat presence in denied waters, renewed priority of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission against sophisticated threats in greater numbers will influence the design trade space."

"We do expect it will be a larger type of submarine, probably in the size class of the Columbia, but there’s not much more to tell than that. But we’re working with our Navy customer in what that would look like and how we could take that into production,” Rex Geveden said, according to USNI News. “It has the moniker SSN(X) until it gets a class name, and there’s some thought, discussion, and analysis. It would be the follow-on to the Virginia fast-attack submarine, and it would feather in sometime in the late 2030s."
 

Grey Havoc

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The reported rough dimensions would suggest that they are actually aiming at a SSGN design, while trying not to admit the fact. Possibly because of (perhaps very well founded) fears that the new administration is hostile to things like new SSGNs.
 

Thorvic

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Probably being touted as use the Colombia design, replacing the launch tubs for ICBMS with other not strategic toys, like Cruise missiles, seal stuff and Unmanned stuff, keeps parts common, maintenance and training and of course the economies of scale.
 

Moose

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The reported rough dimensions would suggest that they are actually aiming at a SSGN design, while trying not to admit the fact.
Unlikely. If you "simply" gave the SSN industry the job of replicating SSN-21, but with the quieting and sensors needed to serve from the 2030s on, you'd get a bigger boat than the baseline Seawolf. The Navy's electric drive alone would soak up too much space, unless they went with a significantly less robust design than on the SSBNs, to fit in the same dimensions. Given that, if they're already looking at a large SSN (rather than a lighter LA/VA-style fleet sub) then it makes sense to take advantage of the tooling and systems already paid for to support the boomers. All of the above remains true whether they're looking at payload tubes, new external weapons, or simply a basic torpedo room.

Possibly because of (perhaps very well founded) fears that the new administration is hostile to things like new SSGNs.
The article being quoted predates the current Administration. The previous SECNAV had apparently expressed a desire to excise payload tubes from the SSNs, preferring a large, flexible torpedo room. As yet there has not been a new SECNAV confirmed, so it would be fairly unlikely for the acting Navy leadership to changes plans dramatically one way or another before the new leadership can come in. The silent service still enjoys significant bipartisan support, with legislators from CT, RI, and VA amongst the current Congressional leadership.
 

merriman

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The reported rough dimensions would suggest that they are actually aiming at a SSGN design, while trying not to admit the fact.
Unlikely. If you "simply" gave the SSN industry the job of replicating SSN-21, but with the quieting and sensors needed to serve from the 2030s on, you'd get a bigger boat than the baseline Seawolf. The Navy's electric drive alone would soak up too much space, unless they went with a significantly less robust design than on the SSBNs, to fit in the same dimensions. Given that, if they're already looking at a large SSN (rather than a lighter LA/VA-style fleet sub) then it makes sense to take advantage of the tooling and systems already paid for to support the boomers. All of the above remains true whether they're looking at payload tubes, new external weapons, or simply a basic torpedo room.

Possibly because of (perhaps very well founded) fears that the new administration is hostile to things like new SSGNs.
The article being quoted predates the current Administration. The previous SECNAV had apparently expressed a desire to excise payload tubes from the SSNs, preferring a large, flexible torpedo room. As yet there has not been a new SECNAV confirmed, so it would be fairly unlikely for the acting Navy leadership to changes plans dramatically one way or another before the new leadership can come in. The silent service still enjoys significant bipartisan support, with legislators from CT, RI, and VA amongst the current Congressional leadership.
Does RI still have a dog in this fight?
 

Ironmiked

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To clarify...SSN (X) is not a the planned replacement for the Ohio Class SSGNs or the Virginia Class Block V & VI boats. The Columbia Class derivative "Large-Volume Host Platform" will address that mission. Please see below. It seems like the Navy is going to end up with three very large boats (SSBN, SSN, & SSGN) all based on a common baseline platform. I think the Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) will also be joining the fleet in large numbers too. Ultimatley, the real challenge will be getting the funding to buy this new undersea fleet the USN needs.

The WAR ZONE: Navy Plans For 'Large Payload Subs' Based On New Columbia Class To Take On SSGN Role And More​


The U.S. Navy has started exploring its options for a next-generation nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic missile to arm its future Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines and that design will incorporate elements of the existing Trident D-5. At the same time, the service will keep the Columbia production line "hot" to potentially build more of those boats or produce a conventionally-armed, multi-purpose "Large Payload Submarine." This latter design could end up packed with cruise missiles or hypersonic weapons, be able to act as an undersea mothership for special operations forces or large underwater drones, and more.

Various naval officers offered updates on the future of the Navy's strategic and other large submarine capabilities during talks at the Naval Submarine League’s annual symposium on Nov. 8, 2018. At present, the service expects to purchase at least 12 Columbias to replace its existing 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, or SSBNs. There are also plans to buy a minimum of five of the as yet unnamed Large Payload Submarine, also known as the Large-Volume Host Platform, primarily to replace the four additional Ohios that have been reconfigured as conventional cruise missile and special operations submarines, or SSGNs.
 

Grey Havoc

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I think you may have been right after all. They only have the Quonset Point Air National Guard Station there these days, the Naval base is still long gone, I believe.
 
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TomS

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I think you may have been right after all. They only have the Quonset Point Air National Guard Station there these days, the Naval base is still long gone, I believe.

He's talking about the GD Electric Boat facility there, which builds submarine hull segments and ships them to Groton or Newport News for assembly.

 

Grey Havoc

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Thought that had gone away in the late 2000s, thanks for the correction.
 

merriman

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Good question.
I stand corrected (should have done my homework before my reactionary post). The Quonset Point facility makes that state very much a player here. Sorry bout that.

I think you may have been right after all. They only have the Quonset Point Air National Guard Station there these days, the Naval base is still long gone, I believe.
Damn! That's what happens when I let Wikipedia be my primary source.
 

Moose

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Lotta people forgetting NUWC is still in Newport.
 

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