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Nuclear-Powered Fast Attack Submarine Virginia-Class ⚔️ US Navy [Review]

The Virginia Class attack submarine is the
U.S. Navy’s newest undersea warfare platform and incorporates the latest in stealth, intelligence
gathering and weapons systems technology. Attack submarines are designed to seek and
destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; project power ashore with Tomahawk cruise
missiles and Special Operation Forces; carry out Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
missions; support battle group operations; and engage in mine warfare. The Virginia class wa not the first new design
to come into service after the Cold War. The Seawolf class was originally intended
to succeed the Los Angeles class, but production was canceled after only three submarines were
produced. This restriction occurred due to budgeting
restraints at the end of the Cold War, and the final submarine was manufactured in 1995. At a cost of $3 billion per unit, the Seawolf
class was the most expensive SSN submarine. The Virginia class was put into production
in full swing due to being smaller and carrying more manageable costs than the Seawolf. The Navy is now building the next-generation
attack submarine, the Virginia (SSN 774) class. The Virginia class has several innovations
that significantly enhance its warfighting capabilities with an emphasis on littoral
operations. Virginia class SSNs have a fly-by-wire ship
control system that provides improved shallow-water ship handling. The class has special features to support
special operation forces including a reconfigurable torpedo room which can accommodate a large
number of special operation forces and all their equipment for prolonged deployments
and future off-board payloads. The class also has a large lock-in/lock-out
chamber for divers. In Virginia-class SSNs, traditional periscopes
have been supplanted by two photonics masts that host visible and infrared digital cameras
atop telescoping arms. With the removal of the barrel periscopes,
the ship’s control room has been moved down one deck and away from the hull’s curvature,
affording it more room and an improved layout that provides the commanding officer with
enhanced situational awareness. Additionally, through the extensive use of
modular construction, open architecture, and commercial off-the-shelf components, the Virginia
class is designed to remain state of the practice for its entire operational life through the
rapid introduction of new systems and payloads. SPECIFICATIONS
Length: 114.91 m Beam: 10.36 m
Displacement: 7,900 t Payload:
40 weapons, special operations forces, unmanned undersea vehicles, Advanced SEAL Delivery
System Propulsion:
The S9G nuclear reactor delivering 40,000 shaft horse power. Nuclear core life estimated at 33 years. Test depth:
greater than 240 m, allegedly around 490 m. Speed:
Greater than 46 km/h, allegedly up to 65 km/h Planned cost:
about US$1.65 billion each (based on FY95 dollars, 30-boat class and two boat/year build-rate) Actual cost:
US$1.5 billion (in 1994 prices), US$2.6 billion (in 2012 prices) Annual operating cost:
$50 million per unit Crew:
120 enlisted and 14 officers Armament:
12 Vertical launching system and four torpedo tubes, capable of launching Mark 48 torpedoes,
UGM-109 Tactical Tomahawks, Harpoon (missile)s and the new advanced mobile mine when it becomes
available. Block V boats will have the additional Virginia
Payload module which contains four large diameter tubes which can accommodate 7 Tomahawk cruise
missiles each. This would increase the total number of torpedo-sized
weapons (such as Tomahawks) carried by the Virginia class design from about 37 to about
65—an increase of about 76%. Decoys:
Acoustic Device Countermeasure Mk3/4 Building: 5
Planned: 48 Completed: 16
Active: 14

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