Ohio class submarine

From Academic Kids

The United States has 18 Ohio class submarines:

  • 14 nuclear-powered SSBNs, each armed with 24 Trident II SLBMs; they are also known as "Trident" submarines, and provide the sea-based leg of the triad of the United States strategic deterrent forces
  • 4 nuclear-powered SSGNs, each armed with 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles with conventional warheads

The 14 Trident II SSBNs carry together around 50 percent of total U.S. strategic warheads. (The exact number varies in an unpredictable and highly classified manner below a maximum set by various strategic arms limitation treaties.) Although the missiles have no pre-set targets when the submarine goes on patrol, the SSBNs are capable of rapidly targeting their missiles should the need arise, using secure and constant at-sea communications links. The Ohio class are the largest submarines ever built for the U.S. Navy, and are second only to the Russian Typhoon class in mass and size. A single submarine carries the destructive power more than nine times greater than all Allied ordnance dropped in the European theater in World War II.

The Ohio class submarines are specifically designed for extended deterrent patrols. To decrease the time in port for crew turnover and replenishment, three large logistics hatches are fitted to provide large diameter resupply and repair openings. These hatches allow sailors to rapidly transfer supply pallets, equipment replacement modules and machinery components, significantly reducing the time required for replenishment and maintenance. The class design and modern main concepts allow the submarines to operate for 15+ years between overhauls.



The first eight Ohio class submarines were originally equipped with 24 Trident I C-4 ballistic missiles. Beginning with the ninth Trident submarine, USS Tennessee, the remaining ships were equipped with the upgraded Trident II D-5 variant as they were constructed. Trident II can deliver significantly more payload than Trident I and more accurately. Starting with Alaska in 2000, conversion of the remaining C-4 equipped submarines to D-5 is currently underway.

The first eight boats were homeported in Bangor, Washington to replace the Polaris A-3 carrying submarines that were then being decommissioned. The remaining ten boats were originally homeported in Kings Bay, Georgia, replacing the Atlantic-based Poseidon and Trident Backfit submarines. During the conversion of the first four hulls to SSGNs, (see below) three boats, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Nebraska, were shifted from Kings Bay to Bangor. Further shifts are occurring as the strategic needs of the US change.

SSBN/SSGN conversions

Missing image
Ohio SSGN conversion

Original plans called for Ohio to be retired in 2002, followed by three of her sisters. However, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Georgia will be modified and remain in service as conventional guided missile submarines (SSGNs).

Beginning in 20072010, 22 of the 24 88-inch diameter Trident missile tubes will be modified to contain large vertical launch systems (VLS), one configuration of which will be a cluster of seven Tomahawk missiles. If the maximum of 154 Tomahawks were loaded, one Ohio-class SSGN would carry an entire Battle Group's equivalent of cruise missiles. Other payload possibilities include new generations of supersonic and hypersonic cruise missiles, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), the ADM-160 Miniature Air-Launched Decoy, sensors for anti-submarine warfare or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, counter-mine warfare payloads such as the AN/BLQ-11 Long Term Mine Reconnaissance System (LMRS), and the broaching univeral buoyant launcher (BUBL) and stealthy affordable capsule system (SACS) specialized payload canisters.

The other two Trident tubes will be replaced by swimmer lockout and equipment pods. For special operations, a minisub will be mounted on the bow and the boat will be able to transport around a hundred Navy SEALs or other Special Operations Forces; such a large team of special forces is not expected to be frequently needed, however.

On September 26, 2002, the Navy awarded GD Electric Boat a more than $442.9 million contract to begin the first phase of the SSGN submarine conversion program. Those funds cover only the initial phase of conversion for the first two boats on the schedule. Advance procurement has been funded at $355 million in fiscal year 2002, US$825 million in the FY2003 budget and, through the five-year defense budget plan, at $936 million in FY2004, $505 million in FY2005, and $170 million in FY2006. Thus, the total cost to refit the four boats is just under $700 million per boat.

In November 2002 Ohio entered drydock, beginning a 36-month refueling and conversion overhaul. She is scheduled to rejoin the fleet in 2007, followed by Michigan, Florida, and Georgia. These four SSGNs are expected to remain in service until 2023-2026.

General characteristics

  • Builders: GD Electric Boat.
  • Power plant: One S8G nuclear reactor, one shaft
  • Length: 170.69 m (560 ft)
  • Beam: 12.8 m (42 ft)
  • Displacement: 17,033 tons surfaced; 19,000 tons submerged
  • Speed: 20 knot (37 km/h)
  • Crew: 15 officers, 140 enlisted
  • Armament
    • SSBN configuration:
      • 24 tubes for Trident I and II ballistic missiles; the Trident II with a length of 13.4 metres just fits vertically (the Trident I is shorter), and they are placed in two rows of twelve
      • Four torpedo tubes; Mk-48 torpedoes, mobile submarine simulator decoys
    • SSGN configuration:
      • 154 tubes for Tomahawk cruise missiles
      • Two swimmer and equipment lock-out tubes
      • Four torpedo tubes; Mk-48 torpedoes, mobile submarine simulator decoys

Ohios are comparable in size to Oscar-class submarines of the Russian Navy: Ohios displace more when surfaced but less when submerged; they are longer in length but narrower in beam.

External links

Ohio-class submarine

SSGN 726 Class:
Ohio | Michigan | Florida | Georgia

SSBN 726 Class:
Henry M. Jackson | Alabama | Alaska | Nevada | Tennessee | Pennsylvania | West Virginia | Kentucky | Maryland | Nebraska | Rhode Island | Maine | Wyoming | Louisiana

List of submarines of the United States Navy
List of submarine classes of the United States Navy

ja:オハイオ級原子力潜水艦 pt:Classe Ohio


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