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SSN21 - Seawolf Class Att

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Registered: August 2001
Posts: 46,792
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Function: America's last Cold War Fast Attack Submarine.

Description: Following the tradition for unchallenged dominance established by the Los Angeles class submarines, the Seawolf class submarines are the most technologically advanced and lethal Attack Submarines in the world. The Seawolf submarines exceed the capabilities of the Los Angeles class boats in all respects. In addition to having twice the number of torpedo tubes (eight) the tubes are also of a larger design which allows the current Mk 48 ADCAP torpedo to "swimout" under its own power rather than launched with a blast of high pressure air. This allows the Seawolf to have a much lower launch "signature" than earlier boats. The Seawolf was also designed with a more efficient hull design, advanced sound absorbing material, as well as improved propulsion and powerplant systems. This allows the Seawolf to achieve a higher top speed as well as a higher low noise "silent" speed. Finally, the major components on the Seawolf are modular in construction and were made to be easily replaced as upgrades in technology became available. This results in a much faster and more efficient refit period as new equipment becomes available. Designed to perform every mission currently given to fast attack boats, the Seawolf's performance and capabilities allow it to take on the additional mission of hunting and eleminating threat Ballistic Missile submarines (SSBN.) Unfortunately, this performance does not come without a price, and with the downsizing of military forces and budgets following the end of the Cold War, the 3 billion dollar price tag per submarine was deemed prohibitively high. Consequently, production of the Seawolf was halted at three boats. Replacing the Seawolf will be the NSSN774 Virginia class New Attack Submarine, a smaller, less expensive design which incorporates many of the technological advantages of the Seawolf submarines.

General Characteristics, Seawolf Class


About $3 billion each


General Dynamics Electric Boat Division

Power Plant:

One General Electric PWR S6W nuclear reactor, two geared steam turbines, one shaft with shrouded pumpjet propulsor, 52,000 shaft horse power

Length, Overall:

353 feet (107.6 meters)


40 feet (12.2 meters)


16,912 long tons (17,183.41 metric tons)


35+ knots submerged




Mk 48 ADCAP Torpedoes, launched from eight 660mm torpedo tubes

Tomahawk anti-ship/ land attack missiles, launched from a 12 tube vertical launch system (VLS)


BSY-2 combat data system


1 AN/BPS-16 navigation and fire control radar


1 TB-16 passive towed sonar array

1 TB-29 passive "thin line" towed sonar array

1 AN/BQG-5 wide aperture flank array

1 AN/BQQ-5 low frequency spherical bow sonar array

1 AN/BQS-24 close range active sonar (ice detection)

Mine and Ice Detection and Avoidance System (MIDAS)

SADS-TG active detection sonar


WLR-9 acoustic intercept receiver


WLY-1 torpedo decoy


USS Seawolf (SSN 21), Groton, CT

USS Connecticut (SSN-22), Groton, CT

USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23), under construction

· Date: Sun January 4, 2004 · Views: 1256
· Filesize: 28.6kb · Dimensions: 410 x 250 ·
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Keywords: SSN21 - Seawolf Class Att

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