Tango Bravo -- The Virginia Replacement?
Here's an article from Newsday that discusses the Navy's research into the feasibility of designing a cheaper alternative to the Virginia class as the Navy's submarine of the future. Here's an excerpt on the new program, designated Tango Bravo:
"Building a smaller, cheaper submarine, said O'Rourke, would be one way to meet the Navy's need for a fleet of as many as 40 submarines at a more affordable cost.
"Right now Tango Bravo is in its infancy. This spring the Defense Advances Research Projects Agency is slated to award a four-year, $97 million contract for various new cutting edge technologies that could be used in a smaller vessel.
"They include better but cheaper sonar equipment; new ways to stow and launch weapons outside the hull without losing speed, and a program to reduce the size of the submarine's battle station so that only eight personnel are needed to operate it rather than about 16."
I'll post more about this later, but it's interesting that the Navy was touting the Virginia as a cheaper alternative to the Seawolf not even four years ago.