N97 On Ohio Replacement
Check out this video from RDML Breckenridge:
Here's the blog article he mentions. Excerpts:
The Right Answer: A new design SSBN that improves on Ohio:I notice that they did not consider what I've always thought was the most cost-efficient and useful option: A Seawolf-based design with the D5 missile. This significantly mitigates the hull streamlining issue (since a Seawolf has a diameter 7 feet larger than a Virginia) and the Seawolf power plant could easily drive an SSBN at speeds that likely would exceed that of a Virginia SSN. Plus, we've already proven we can insert a module into the middle of a Seawolf hull.
What has emerged from the Navy’s exhaustive analysis is an Ohio replacement submarine that starts with the foundation of the proven performance of the Ohio SSBN, its Trident II D5 strategic weapons system and its operating cycle. To this it adds:
* Enhanced stealth as necessary to pace emerging threats expected over its service life
* Systems commonality with Virginia (pumps, valves, sonars, etc.) wherever possible, enabling cost savings in design, procurement, maintenance and logistics
* Modular construction and use of COTS equipment consistent with those used in today’s submarines to reduce the cost of fabrication, maintenance and modernization.
* Total ownership cost reduction (for example, investing in a life-of-the-ship reactor core enables providing the same at-sea presence with fewer platforms).
Off-topic aside: When I was assigned as initial manning Eng of the aforementioned Jimmy Carter, I was the second Newcon Eng (after Virginia) that was part of a new initiative to have the initial manning Eng billet be a post-DH shore tour; I thought it made a lot of sense. I note from this article about the initial manning of PCU Illinois (SSN 786) that the Eng is a Lieutenant, so it appears they've gone away from this model. Does anyone know when that happened?