USS South Dakota (SSN 790), the service’s seventeenth Virginia-class submarine.
Image: The National Interest
According to the National Interest, the US Navy is arming a new fleet of attack submarines with stealthy “quieting” systems, new weapons, next-gen sonar and additional advanced undersea warfare technologies to enable its future boats to execute massive land-attacks, perform “covert insertions” of forces and conduct reconnaissance missions undetected.
The service is already making substantial progress in building a new 84ft section into Block V Virginia-Class attack submarine for the purpose of massively increasing firepower.
The plan, Navy developers say, is to further refine these technical advances before deploying what many call “the stealthiest submarines ever built” in the early 2020s.
The Virginia Payload Modules, slated to become operational by the 2020s, will increase the Tomahawk missile firepower of the submarines from 12 missiles up to 40.
While designed primarily to hold Tomahawks, the VPM missile tubes are engineered such that they could accommodate a new payload, new missile or even a large unmanned underwater vehicle.
Overall, these advancements for the future submarine fleet are not only designed for new boats being built - but possibly for those already in service.
Disclaimer: The appearance of US Department of Defense (DoD) visual information on this website does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.