By Ashleigh / Dec 13, 2020
Steel Hunters Of The Sea
Some of the strongest nautical vehicles ever created are submarines, and when it comes to superiority, they reign supreme. It takes a lot of testing to ensure that all the instruments a submarine has can be used at the crushing depths they often go.
Leading military countries are racing each other to see who can create the latest, biggest, best submarines out there. The U.S. is part of this race and is currently working on something to blow their competitors out of the water!
Russian Submarines Are Of Great Concern To The Navy
Even with the Cold War far behind us, it’s still a recent memory for both countries. For many years the U.S. military has noticed Russia’s steadily growing presence off the east coast of America and in the North Atlantic ocean.
These “presences” they’ve been observing are attack submarines hiding underneath the surface, so the growing paranoia within the U.S. Navy is not unwarranted.
Russian-Made Submarines Are Advanced
Rumors have spread about Russia being at the forefront when it comes to subs. Their old soviet subs, the Akula and the Alfa class subs, were said to have been the best back in their heyday in the Soviet Union.
Even with the Russian Subs’ pedigree, rumors also say that the Yasen class – a new sub design – is superior.
Weaponry And Stealth Are The Yasen’s Bread And Butter
The Russian military has managed to fit both advanced weapons systems and stealth technology into their new class of sub, The Yasen.
Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
The Yasen is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to subs, the attack sub has nuclear-powered and has cruise missiles to boot. And they plan on further developing their plans on the new sub.
The 545 Laika Is Russia’s Newest Project
The Russian military’s most recent plans to unfold are the 545 Laika, this codename is for the new class of attack submarine they’ve been working on.
If the Yasen class is any kind of bar to set for the Laika, then the United States military is right to be concerned for a number of reasons.
The Laika’s Swiftness Will Be Undeniable
Rumors have been spread about the Laika class taking certain traits from both its predecessors, the Yasen class sub and the Yasen-M class sub.
Just two of these traits will be a high speed of 23 miles per hour when on the water and an incredible 32 miles per hour when beneath the surface.
Weapon Superiority Will Belong To The Laika
The Laika will have a huge range of weapons. Just to mention a few, it will have 8 BLS missile silos capable of firing Onix anti-ship missiles and KALIBR cruise missiles.
The sub will also come equipped with torpedo tubes, 10 of them! Despite all the firepower, that’s the least of the U.S.’s concerns.
The Laika Has A Secret Weapon
The Laika has been chosen by the Russian Navy to incorporate a new weapons system, the 3M22 Zircon Hypersonic cruise missile.
This missile will be capable of targetting U.S. land vehicles as well as any Navy vehicles that venture too close to the sub. The U.S. Navy won’t stand a chance with the missile traveling at Mach 9!
The Russian Navy Are A Powerful Adversary
Russia has one of the largest armadas to have ever prowled the ocean. Just to name a few vessels in the armada are normal and nuclear submarines and submarines with guided cruise missiles — which are subs with ballistic missiles capable of firing nuclear weapons from very far away.
But the U.S. has its own plan to counter Russia’s powerful subs.
The Navy Their Own Plan To Contest The Russians
It’s been established that the submarines from Russia are good at what they do: they are reliably lethal. The U.S. Navy has its own brand of submarines, and they’re known for intimidating their enemies.
General Dynamics Electric Boat
But the U.S. hasn’t been sitting around doing nothing while the Russians develop their new sub.
The Laika Is Still Pretty Much At The Drawing Board
Construction on the 545 Laika will only begin in 2023, this bides the U.S. Navy time to try and outmatch the sub.
YouTube / Mad Lab
The U.S. can develop an even more powerful sub that will have Russia worried. This sub will be capable of rivaling the 545 Laika in all its fields, including pace, stealth, and weaponry.
It’s Time For A New Brand Of Navy Submarine
America’s Navy look toward the horizon with their new project, the next phase in submarine development: a sub capable of uncompromised speed and stealth.
The program is codenamed SNN(X), the sub will be able to operate at a much higher speed underwater while on dire stealth missions. And that’s not all the new sub will offer.
SNN(X) Class Subs Will Have Advanced Stealth Capabilities
When it comes to subs, the Los Angeles Class sub has been among the quietest nuclear-powered subs the U.S. has ever designed.
The U.S. plan on improving the Los Angeles low sound emission and applying it to the SNN(X) sub, it should end up being around 70 times quieter than before. That’s not even the best part of the submarine.
The U.S. Will Focus on Firepower
The SNN(X) class submarine will have one of the greatest weapon catalogs of any sub, including previous U.S. Navy and Russian Navy vessels. Weapons systems like Tomahawk cruise missiles are only a taste of what the SNN(X) has to offer.
New designs always have new ideas, but will the SNN(X) include any older designs that have proven to be sound?
The SNN(X) May Pair With The Seawolf Class Submarine
New rumors about the sub’s shape have been brought up. Allegedly, it will share a similar appearance to the Seawolf class submarine.
Reddit / saturnax1
The SNN(X) will still have a higher speed, a bigger appearance, and more stealth capabilities. The Seawolf uses nuclear tech, so the SNN(X) will most likely have the same systems onboard.
It Can “Talk” To Other Navy Vessels
The new sub will come with the newest in communication technology. This means that the sub will be able to transmit vital info about competitor’s positions to other vessels in the Navy’s fleet, including other subs, ships, carriers, and even planes.
The SSN(X) will be capable of defending against a more advanced and recent enemy.
Normal Navy Vehicles Cannot Defend Against UUVs
UUVs are a new development from competitors Russia and China, UUV stands for unmanned undersea vehicles, and these threats can overwhelm and destroy U.S. Navy sea vehicles like carriers and subs.
These vehicles don’t stand a chance against UUVs if they don’t have countermeasures or defense. Can the U.S. plan and build the SSN(X) before it’s too late?
Building Will Only Begin In Years
Even with all the impressive information around the SNN(X) class sub, the development’s only been cleared to start as late as 2031.
U.S. Defense News
Building on the SNN(X) will only start in 2034, 14 years from now! After which the military will start buying two of them every year. Why will development take so long?
Why The U.S. Is Biding Its Time
If the U.S. wait a while longer before starting development on their sub, then they can look at every available improvement on the project that exists now or will exist in the future.
This will give the subs an edge, having the most recent technology put into them when production finally starts. With all this development, how much will the SNN(X) cost when it’s ready?
The SNN(X) Will Cost A Fortune
Even with the SNN(X) still being very much in the pipeline. The U.S. military has approximated all the costs that will go into the new sub class.
YouTube / AiirSource Military
The U.S. estimates the subs at around 5.5 billion dollars. With that much money going into only a single submarine, just how massive will this sub be?
The Sub Will Be Larger than the Sea Wolf Class
For the SSN(X) to embody the amount of technology and armaments needed to beat the competition, the amount of hull required would have to be significantly larger than the Sea Wolf class’s 9,100 tons or the Virginia class vessel’s 7,800 tons.
Matt Hildreth / U.S. Navy
But what type of engines can fuel such a large ship?
The Engines Might Use Two Fuel Types
The power required to run a vessel of this size is enormous, so the new design could contain an engine design that is powered in diesel-electric as well as nuclear power.
But there’s a lot of planning still ahead.
The Program’s Priorities Include Various Studies
The SSN(X) program is still on the drawing board. So, for now, the U.S. Navy’s budget proposal suggests that its priorities are on conducting various studies.
Projects such as projected available industrial base capabilities, the cost of development, as well as the concepts of operations for the new submarine.
Stealth, Speed and Survivability Are Essential Components
The powers behind the program are going to look into conducting advanced technology development in key areas like stealth, speed and survivability as well to ensure their multi-billion-dollar investment doesn’t fail as soon as it leaves dry-dock.
General Dynamics Electric Boat Image
But what will the SSN(X) provide that other sub don’t?
What Makes the SSN(X) Different?
Unlike other submarine classes like the Virginia Class, the SSN(X) class will have greater transit speed.
Navy News of Australia
The transit speed will be particularly fast under stealth mode in all ocean environments so that it can provide more effective multi-mission capabilities.
They’re Getting Rid of the Old And Embracing The New
In the end, the U.S. Navy’s objective will be to look at some of the old ideas from previous submarine classes and get rid of anything that doesn’t work.
Lt. Rebeca Rebarich / U.S. Navy
Then they will improve upon old technology while integrating new technology into the design of the SSN(X) class.