Building New Classes Of Submarines
There are a couple of articles out on potential plans for building new classes of submarines in the U.S. The first discusses possibly building diesel submarines to sell to Taiwan; one theory is that we could then use the expertise developed to build diesel submarines for our own fleet. I'm skeptical; first of all, it would still cost a lot for us to build diesel submarines, because we really wouldn't be able to reduce the SUBSAFE requirements. Also, as present-day submariners know, speed is life in modern submarine combat, and that's something the diesel boats tend to lack compared to SSNs.
The second article discusses plans to build a replacement for the Ohio-class SSBNs. Excerpts:
Although the first of the Navy’s fleet of ballistic missile submarines won’t retire for another 17 years, the time to start the design work is now, said Vice Adm. Jay Donnelly. “This is the right time for the Navy to commence efforts to replace the Ohio-class SSBN. It’s not too early,” said Donnelly, who is the commander of the Navy’s submarine force...What would you like to see on the next generation SSBN? Swimming pools? Tanning rooms? Or maybe a reactor that's big enough to actually push it through the water at some speed such that it has a better chance of evading incoming torpedos?
... For the Trident program, the Navy plans to adopt technologies from the Virginia-class attack submarine. The plan is to incorporate systems from the ready room, navigation room and torpedo room...
... Donald predicted that the Navy’s “assumptions, decision and plans” for the Ohio replacement will experience “intense scrutiny,” given the climate of restricted budgets and skepticism about ship acquisition programs.
“We have an obligation to deliver that capability at the best price without compromising reactor safety, submarine safety, or the capability that that nation needs. We welcome that challenge,” he said.