Nukes Vs. Diesels Over At 'Phib's Place
CDR Salamander crossed off the milblogger quarterly PM of someone hosting the "U.S. should buy diesel subs rather than nukes" debate, so head on over and join in the fun. My take (copied from the comment I just made over there):
It really depends on what you want the submarine to do. I'd still take a Virginia over 3 SSKs in an open ocean scenario. Additionally, I've got a feeling that it would cost us way more to build the subs that it does for the Germans, since our workers have been trained for the higher quality nuclear work and you wouldn't be able to drop their pay just because you don't need them to do as good of a weld. A lot of our sub-building money goes into SubSafe, and we're not going to drop those requirements just because it's a diesel boat.Not that while I normally give the Virginia-class boats crap because they're so slow, compared to diesel boats they're like sports cars. Still, the case could be made that diesels could be more cost effective in a defensive ASW role, like we might face in Korea or Taiwan, assuming you forward deployed the SSKs to Guam. Still, that's pretty pricey for a one-mission platform.