Military Review

USS Illinois Multi-Purpose Submarine (SSN-786): The New US Navy Its Prospects

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A few days ago, the U.S. Navy received a new multipurpose nuclear submarine. In the near future, the USS Illinois submarine (SSN-786) should undergo a number of necessary procedures, after which it will officially be put into combat fleet, and full operation will begin. It is expected that the commissioning of a new submarine will further increase the potential of the submarine forces of the US Navy, which already includes a large number of Illinois submarine-syships. In addition, according to various estimates, the beginning of the service of the next multi-purpose nuclear submarine may have some consequences for the international situation.


The new USS Illinois submarine (SSN-786) was designed by the Virginia Block III and is the representative of the newest and most advanced family of American multipurpose submarines at the moment. She became the third submarine of the Block III version and the Virginia-class 13. The task of “Illinois” in the future will be to patrol these areas with the search for various underwater and surface targets and, upon receipt of the appropriate order, their destruction. There is also the possibility of attacking coastal targets of the enemy. One of the main goals of such combat work of the submarine will be the search for strategic submarine missile carriers of a potential enemy.



The decision to build the USS Illinois submarine (SSN-786) and several other submarines was made in the middle of the last decade. 22 December 2008, the decision to build led to the emergence of a contract between the military and the shipbuilding industry. The contract for the construction of boats of the new series was given to Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard. They were ordered four and three submarines, respectively. The construction of the Illinois submarine was to be carried out at the enterprise General Dynamics Electric Boat in the city of Groton (Connecticut).

The multibillion-dollar contract for the Block III series of submarines meant the construction of several submarines of equal value. According to recent reports, the United States Department of State spent 786 billion dollars to build the USS Illinois (SSN-2,7).

The groundbreaking ceremony for the USS Illinois submarine (SSN-786) was held on 2 on June 2014. The trustee of the new ship was the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, a native of Illinois, after whom the submarine was named. Thanks to streamlined production, the construction of the submarine took only 14 months. Already 8 August 2015, the boat was taken out of the workshop and lowered into the water. After that, the crew and industry experts began to conduct tests and other necessary work prior to the transfer of the submarine to the customer.

Tests and refinement of the newest multi-purpose submarine took about a year, after which the representatives of the military department signed an acceptance certificate. Another Virginia Block III type submarine was handed over to the 27 customer in August. In the near future, the naval forces are planning to carry out some of the necessary work, after which the submarine will be officially included in the fleet's combat strength. The commissioning ceremony for the boat is scheduled for October 29. On this day, the submarine forces of the US Navy will officially be replenished with a new combat unit.


The submarine USS Illinois (SSN-786) during construction. Photo of Ussillinois.org


The USS Illinois submarine (SSN-786) was built on the newest existing version of the Virginia project and is a fourth-generation submarine. The project used is based on the basic developments of previous projects, however, it has a number of characteristic differences related to the need to increase certain parameters. First of all, Block III submarines differ from their predecessors by their hydro-acoustic complex and launch devices for rocket armament. The rest of the project is an improved version of previous developments. Design work on the Virginia Block III project began in 2009, after the signing of a contract for the construction of a series of new submarines.

According to the project, the Illinois submarine has a length of 114,9 m, a width of 10,3 m and a normal draft of 9,8 m. The full displacement reaches 7900 tons. On the upper surface of the hull a relatively small logging fence is provided. On the tapering stern there is a set of rudders and a propeller placed inside the annular channel.

In the central compartment of the robust hull of the boat is a water-cooled nuclear reactor type S9G, which provides power generation for all systems. As a propulsion system for moving the project provides an electric motor with power 30 ths. Hp Single shaft with single propeller is used.

Within the framework of the Block III project, the bow section of the light hull, which contains weapons and a hydroacoustic station, has undergone significant changes. The main tasks in reworking the compartment was to improve the characteristics of the boat, as well as reducing the cost of its production and operation. Due to the abandonment of some previously used solutions, as well as through the use of unified units borrowed from existing projects, we managed to solve both tasks.


Submarine in dry dock, 29 July 2016 g. Photo by Ussillinois.org


It was decided to change the design of the main antenna of the sonar complex. Instead of the previously used system, consisting of a large number of individual elements, fixed on a common basis in the form of a compartment with air, it was decided to use a spherical device, completely surrounded by water. This version of the complex received the designation LAB (Large Aperture Bow). The absence of the need to create a sealed base filled with air, significantly reduced the cost of production of the bow of the boat. Alteration of the design has allowed to further reduce the cost of the case on 11 million dollars.

The LAB system has two main components. The first is a passive high-performance station, and the second is an active system operating in the middle frequency range. As part of the LAB complex, hydroacoustic sensors previously used on Seawolf-type submarines are used. The maximum possible resource of the complex, equal to the resource of the entire submarine, is provided.

The first versions of the Virginia project proposed the use of 12 vertical launchers placed in front of a sturdy hull in the bow of the boat. The Block III modernization project proposed a different option for transporting and launching missile weapons. In order to simplify the design and reduce the cost of production, new multi-purpose submarines must be equipped with launchers borrowed from a project to upgrade strategic Ohio-type submarines. With this solution, it was possible to improve the economic parameters of the project without any other problems.

The launcher borrowed from Ohio is a cylindrical unit that fits in size into the Trident II ballistic missile shaft. The installation accommodates six mines of relatively small diameter, each of which can transport one cruise missile. Also in the case of the installation there are various special equipment necessary for the use of rocket weapons.


Scheme of innovations of the project Block III. Drawing Defenseindustrydaily.com


In the case of the Virginia Block III project, the removal of old separate launchers takes place, instead of which a kind of mines of Ohio strategic submarines are being installed. On the body are placed two flip covers launchers, under which there are two vertical launchers. Thus, the upgraded submarines, like the boats of previous versions, are capable of transporting and launching cruise missiles up to 12.

Despite the replacement of launchers, the updated Virginia retains the same range of weapons. Main shock weapons These ships remain cruise missiles BGM-109 Tomahawk, capable of hitting targets, depending on the modification, at distances up to 2500 km.

The rest of the "Illinois" is almost no different from the boats of its project of the previous series. With the exception of a complex of weapons and hydroacoustic equipment, all the existing changes are minor and are aimed at correcting previously identified deficiencies, simplifying the operation of equipment, etc. This made it possible to improve the required parameters, and also to do without an unacceptable increase in the cost of construction and significantly save on the operation of unified technology.

In particular, the submarine’s additional armament in the form of torpedoes remained without significant changes. The USS Illinois (SSN-786) has four 533 caliber torpedo tubes. In the torpedo compartment can be transported up to 27 torpedoes of several types. Such weapons are primarily intended to protect against enemy submarines.


The USS North Dakota (SSN-784) is the lead submarine of the Block III series. Photo by US Navy


The previously used approach to gathering information about the environment has been retained. In particular, Block III still does not use the traditional periscope, instead of which the boat receives a mast with optical-electronic equipment connected to the screens at the central post. The use of other means of observation based on modern technologies and element base is also envisaged.

A curious feature of Virginia-type submarines was the ability to transport combat swimmers. The current project retains a special airlock compartment, allowing the submarine to transport and land in a given area up to nine fighters with weapons and special equipment. Also, the submarine can carry relatively large vehicles, necessary for divers.

The boat's own crew consists of 134 people, including 14 officers. If necessary, depending on the type of combat mission, the crew may change in one way or another. During autonomous navigation the maximum possible comfort of work and life is provided.

Virginia-type submarines, regardless of the series and specific equipment, are able to sink to the maximum depth of 488 m and reach speeds of at least 26 nodes. According to some reports, the maximum underwater speed of such submarines exceeds the 30-32 node. The range of navigation is limited only by the food supply and ammunition. Reactors of the latest models used on the boats of the new series, do not change the nuclear fuel during the entire service life.


The second submarine of the USS John Warner series (SSN-785) during the handover ceremony, 1 August 2015 g. One can see the open cover of one of the launchers. Photo by US Navy


To date, the US Navy has received and put into operation 12 multi-purpose nuclear submarines of the type "Virginia". In accordance with the first order from 1998, four submarines of the first series were built. Their service began in 2004-2008. In 2003, the Pentagon ordered the construction of ships of the second series (Block II), resulting in six more submarines in the 2008-13 years. The construction of Block III submarines has been under way since 2012. The year before last and last years, the submarines USS North Dakota (SSN-784) and USS John Warner (SSN-785) entered service, respectively. In October, the submarine forces of the United States will be replenished with another submarine, the USS Illinois (SSN-786).

After receiving the 13-th boat of the Navy series, the United States intends to acquire another half dozen similar submarines. Over the next few years, Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard will have to complete and hand over five of the following Virginia Block III boats to the customer. Ten more submarines will be built later. They will have to relate to the new version of the project with the designation Block IV. The contract for their construction was signed in April 2014. Terms of delivery of equipment for these contracts should be specified later.

Multipurpose Virginia-type submarines of all series are considered as a replacement for the remaining submarines of a similar purpose, created and built over the past few decades. In addition to Virginia, the tasks of searching for underwater and surface targets are solved by boats of the types Los Angeles and Seawolf. At the moment, 39 submarines of the first type and 3 of the second one remain in service. It is noteworthy that it was originally planned to build a series of three dozen "Sivulf", but due to the high cost of the project has undergone a significant reduction. Over time, all available submarines will have to give way to newer Virginia-type ships of the three existing and one series planned for construction.

Like other multi-purpose nuclear submarines of various types, operated by several countries of the world, the newest USS Illinois (SSN-786) will have to solve a fairly wide range of combat tasks related to the search and destruction of various targets. Provides for the possibility of covert surveillance of surface, underwater and coastal targets, followed by their destruction using the most effective weapons in the existing situation. The main armament of the "Illinois" and its sisterships are cruise missiles BGM-109. If necessary, several types of torpedoes can be used.


USS Illinois (SSN-786) on trial, 29 July 2016. Photo by Ussillinois.org


In the context of tracking submarine targets, Virginia-type submarines are primarily “hunters” of strategic submarine-launched missile carriers. In such a role, American submarines pose a certain danger to Russian submarines on duty in the interests of strategic nuclear forces. Quantitative and qualitative features of the submarine forces of the United States, namely, their component, based on multi-purpose submarines, can be a serious cause for concern. With more than fifty such submarines in combat fleet, the United States can deploy a relatively powerful group tracking the various regions of the oceans. As a result, there is a certain probability of opening areas and patrol routes.

Appropriate measures are required to deal with such a threat. Protection of naval formations and submarine missile carriers can be carried out by a variety of means. This task can be assigned to both anti-submarine ships and Aviation. In addition, existing and promising multi-purpose nuclear submarines, primarily new projects, should become a very effective means for tracking down submarines that threaten our ships.

Against the background of the total number of multipurpose nuclear submarines in the submarine forces of the United States, the transfer of a new USS Illinois submarine (SSN-786) does not look too threatening. Nevertheless, even one boat, equipped with the latest equipment and weapons, can significantly increase the potential of all submarine forces in general. In addition, it must be remembered that the Pentagon’s plans include the construction of another half dozen Virginia-type boats, most of which will relate to the new version of the project with the symbol Block IV.

Recent achievements and plans of the US military shipbuilding are of some interest from a technical point of view, and for the United States are also a real cause for pride. For other countries, in turn, they can be a cause for concern and material for analysis and forecasting. The existing and planned development of the submarine forces of the United States may impede the modernization of fleets of other countries, or even pose a serious threat to them. Therefore, joyful for foreign military news should receive the required assessment, as well as take into account other countries, including ours, when planning their actions in the foreseeable future.


On the materials of the sites:
http://flot.com/
http://sudostroenie.info/
http://janes.com/
http://defenseindustrydaily.com/
http://ussillinois.org/
http://public.navy.mil/
http://history.navy.mil/
http://military.com/
http://military-today.com/
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  1. Wedmak
    Wedmak 2 September 2016 06: 56 New
    +11
    It seems to me that you can put a trident into these two shafts if necessary. The temptation is too great. A couple of ICBMs will certainly not make the weather, but the surprise can be very unpleasant.
    1. Alex_Rarog
      Alex_Rarog 2 September 2016 07: 40 New
      +26
      Well, yes, a couple of ICBMs have little use.
      But damn, the timing of the construction is Achtung! 14 damn months! damn our terms would be ((((
      1. jonht
        jonht 28 July 2017 00: 00 New
        0
        but there will be 1,5-2 dozen, and this can already be said of two strategists ......
    2. Leto
      Leto 2 September 2016 08: 01 New
      +4
      Fear God, (or anyone else), in addition to the diameter there is also a length. How long is the Trident?
      1. Wedmak
        Wedmak 2 September 2016 09: 22 New
        0
        How long is the mine?
        1. Leto
          Leto 2 September 2016 09: 34 New
          +8
          The length of the Trident (only rockets!) Is 13,42 m. The mine is usually longer. The diameter of the Virginia hull behind the wheelhouse is about 11 m. Even if you shove the Trident into the crashed compartment, you’ll get a gargrot like ours 667BDR, in general a rare ugliness will work. In the bow, however, is not an option at all. The fact is that the capsule with Tomahawks in Ohio is not inserted into the Trident mine for the entire length, there is still a lot of space left.
          1. Wedmak
            Wedmak 2 September 2016 10: 32 New
            +1
            Honestly, I don’t see a problem making a long nose in my nose. Or to make a "seat" for this matter. And do not raise the hump behind or in front of the superstructure, but lower it down. It's not hard. And absolutely not noticeable. As for PU and control - the Americans are strong in electronics, they will be able to combine the snake with a hedgehog.
            Although this is of course my speculation on the basis of a very strong distrust of the United States. Scoundrels, everyone can be expected.
            1. Forest
              Forest 2 September 2016 12: 35 New
              +2
              There is another problem - it is necessary to strengthen the hull so that the nuclear submarines do not fall apart at launch. And this is an extra half-meter, which is so lacking.
            2. Boa kaa
              Boa kaa 2 September 2016 19: 34 New
              +2
              I don’t see a problem to make a long nose in my nose. And do not raise the hump behind or in front of the superstructure, but lower it down. It's not hard.

              It is unlikely that the Americans will follow the path of our 629 project. But hunfuzy, not a bit embarrassed, had already worked out this option and placed the 2 SLBMs on an ocean diesel submarine. What turned these boats into * regional strategic * BPLR, threatening Japan, Kazakhstan, the Yankees bases in Guam.
              And that is a fact. And if you put VNEU on such a large missile submarine, I don’t already know that the Amy will sing when they quietly sneak up to their coast, threatening the administrative and industrial centers on the US Pacific coast.

    3. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri 2 September 2016 11: 25 New
      0
      No, it won’t work out. But the equipment for combat swimmers (as in the converted "Ohio") - yes. Actually, for the possibility of such a reconfiguration, the "glasses" appeared on the "Girls" :)
      1. Leto
        Leto 2 September 2016 11: 47 New
        +1
        But the equipment for combat swimmers (as in the refitted Ohio) - yes

        There is no communication with inhabited compartments.
        1. Bersaglieri
          Bersaglieri 2 September 2016 18: 25 New
          0
          So, for the "glasses" with autonomous underwater vehicles (unmanned)
      2. jjj
        jjj 2 September 2016 11: 49 New
        +1
        The boat is not large in diameter. But why is it 100 meters long? What did you have to post there? Not a stadium for the crew. And the construction terms are very confusing
        1. kote119
          kote119 2 September 2016 20: 22 New
          0
          in the nasal extremity the hook and armament take a lot of length, the dimensions are quite adequate, and the living conditions of the personnel in our country, from my point of view, are better, with the exception of nutrition
    4. guzik007
      guzik007 2 September 2016 12: 46 New
      +1
      It seems to me that you can put a trident into these two shafts if necessary. The temptation is too great. A couple of ICBMs will certainly not make the weather, but the surprise can be very unpleasant.
      ---------------------------------
      It’s you, my friend, a lot of grabbers (not in a good sense of the word: =)) It's still not a strategic size modest.
      In general, the news is bad.
    5. Boa kaa
      Boa kaa 2 September 2016 19: 17 New
      +3
      It seems to me that you can put a trident into these two shafts if necessary. The temptation is too great.
      Colleague! Fear God!
      Look at the weights of 12 Tomahawks and 2's Tridents! At the same time on the length of the products.
      Well, if this does not convince you of the * hopelessness * of your idea, then I don’t know whether to appeal to such purely ship (TUZHEK) concepts like longitudinal stability of submarines ... what
  2. NEXUS
    NEXUS 2 September 2016 08: 53 New
    +8
    Thanks to the established production, the construction of the submarine took only 14 months. Already on August 8, 2015 the boat was taken out of the workshop and lowered into the water.

    We wish we could build one boat at this pace, rather than 13 years. 7 planned MAPLs and all in fact will be different from each other, and therefore each Ash-M will not be a serial version, but in fact a piece-by-piece production.
    I hope that the Husky MAPL will still be a serial submarine, the construction of which will not be as long as the construction of Ashen.
    1. kote119
      kote119 2 September 2016 20: 35 New
      0
      NEXUS, let's better hope that the ash-tree will be a serial pl, with already worked out solutions, short deadlines, a normal number of series, and when we achieve these results, maybe the mythical huskies will arrive in time, otherwise we will live in prostration, we will take to the exhibition (salons ) Leaders, Storms, etc.
      but in fact, we are building Aviks for the Indians, and ourselves buoys - m
      1. NEXUS
        NEXUS 2 September 2016 21: 05 New
        +3
        kote119
        NEXUS, let's better hope that the ash-tree will be a serial pl, with already worked out solutions, short deadlines, a normal number of series, and when we achieve these results, maybe the mythical huskies will arrive in time, otherwise we will live in prostration, we will take to the exhibition (salons ) Leaders, Storms, etc.
        but in fact, we are building Aviks for the Indians, and ourselves buoys - m

        Hope, of course, is a good thing, but you cannot build a fleet only on hopes alone. It is not regrettable to admit this, but Yasen-M will not essentially be serial, no matter how much we would like it or how much we would not hope so. Currently, 5 Ash-trees-M are under construction ... Perm and Arkhangelsk, if everything will be without delay, the fleet will receive in the 10-15th years, and by that time the Husky project would not be mythical at all. We follow the same road as the mattresses. They built 3 Sivulfa and realizing that it is expensive (at the same time, this submarine did not get rid of some childhood diseases), developed an economy option in the form of Virginia, so to speak. And Husky is the economy option, the recycled Ashen as a matter of fact.
        Everything would be fine, but only the terms for the construction and commissioning of our MAPLs are unreasonably extended, although we need the "multi-purpose workers" like air yesterday.
        1. kote119
          kote119 2 September 2016 21: 23 New
          0
          and imagine how long it takes to rebuild the production lines, if in fact something new needs a new machine tool steam, production culture, specialists, at the moment we only have one Severodvinsk acre, which was built since 93, in my opinion change something
  3. kote119
    kote119 2 September 2016 09: 10 New
    +3
    Quote: Wedmak
    It seems to me that you can put a trident into these two shafts if necessary. The temptation is too great.

    Do not forget that the missile system is not only a mine and a missile, but also a launcher, equipment for interfacing, control, etc. Do not place an SLBM on such a PL due to the lack of appropriate systems
  4. kote119
    kote119 2 September 2016 10: 49 New
    +1
    Quote: Wedmak
    Or to make a "seat" for this matter. And do not raise the hump behind or in front of the superstructure, but lower it down. It's not hard. And absolutely not noticeable.

    oh well, to mutilate such a beauty with plastic. The boat looks very beautiful.
    1. NEXUS
      NEXUS 2 September 2016 10: 59 New
      +3
      kote119
      oh well, to mutilate such a beauty with plastic. The boat looks very beautiful.

      Our Ash-tree looks much more predatory and interesting. And I am not saying this because it is OUR MAPL, but because in fact it is. Malachite's branded design is still individual and very successful.
      1. kote119
        kote119 2 September 2016 19: 29 New
        +3
        and I don’t say that our ash tree is less beautiful, if you look, they are even very similar (except for the fence of the retractable devices), I say that the "maiden" is a beautiful boat, and is internally laconic smile
  5. silver_roman
    silver_roman 2 September 2016 14: 53 New
    +3
    The timing is simply terrifying. You can talk a lot about the ground forces, aviation, seals and other shnyagi Amer defense industry, but as for their Navy, I think no one even close to the indicators can not.
    Even during the dawn of the Soviet Navy, we could not ensure parity. I had to be perverted by methods like "mosquito fleet". It is certainly effective ...
  6. Professor
    Professor 2 September 2016 15: 23 New
    +3
    Fleet lovers. We look, study, envy.

  7. Kudrevkn
    Kudrevkn 2 September 2016 19: 23 New
    +2
    I agree, the construction time is impressive - 14 months (and even Varshavyanka’s crawl 3 times longer)? Yes, and in sonar we are the first from the end. It's annoying and annoying. but ... okay!
  8. kote119
    kote119 2 September 2016 19: 46 New
    0
    Quote: NEXUS
    And I’m not saying this because it’s OUR MAPL

    I can’t understand where this abbreviation maples comes from, it’s a creaser
    1. NEXUS
      NEXUS 2 September 2016 20: 51 New
      +1
      kote119
      I can’t understand where this abbreviation maples comes from, it’s a creaser

      MAPL-Multipurpose nuclear submarine.
      1. kote119
        kote119 2 September 2016 21: 02 New
        0
        I understand everything a colleague just can’t understand why the boats are not called normal names as they are indexed in the fleet
        1. Andrey77
          Andrey77 3 September 2016 12: 32 New
          0
          All countries have their own classification. Somewhere in Uganda, and the boat will be a 1st rank ship.
      2. kote119
        kote119 2 September 2016 21: 06 New
        0
        Yes, and even to the multi-purpose attitude and aprk, apkrrk, bapl, bdpl, and when they say mapl it doesn’t mean much about the boat
        1. Andrey77
          Andrey77 3 September 2016 12: 17 New
          0
          Colleague, I advise you to read
          http://navy-korabel.livejournal.com/98354.html

          We have the whole classification under the bar, alas.
      3. Andrey77
        Andrey77 3 September 2016 12: 30 New
        0
        This boat, according to the current classification in the Russian Federation, belongs to the PLAC - Submarine Atomic Cruising.
  9. Boa kaa
    Boa kaa 2 September 2016 19: 55 New
    +5
    Range is limited only by the supply of food and ammunition.
    I apologize! But this is a blunder! Since autonomy is determined by food (by stocks). Ammunition is determined by the combat capabilities of the ship to counter the enemy, the destruction of designated targets.
    And the cruising range is determined by the power plant and the * fuel * reserves. Virginia will have enough for 30 years. therefore cruising range (and not autonomy by reserves - food, combat capabilities - by ammunition) this machine has - unlimited.
    Yours faithfully, hi
    1. Andrey77
      Andrey77 3 September 2016 12: 02 New
      0
      Immediately unsubscribed without reading comments. You got ahead of me. drinks
    2. 75 hammer
      75 hammer 5 September 2016 16: 11 New
      0
      You forgot about routine maintenance every 3-4 months in the coast !!!!! And so in theory, of course, unlimited!
  10. Andrey77
    Andrey77 3 September 2016 12: 00 New
    0
    Kirill, "Cruising range is limited only by the supply of food and ammunition“And how does the ammunition limit the range? On the contrary, the lack of it only increases autonomy.
  11. fa2998
    fa2998 4 September 2016 21: 33 New
    +1
    Quote: Wedmak
    It seems to me that you can put a trident into these two shafts if necessary. The temptation is too great. A couple of ICBMs will certainly not make the weather, but the surprise can be very unpleasant.

    The depth of the mine is not enough. The Trident ICBM has a length of 13,5 meters and a weight of about 60 tons. This is not a tomahawk. But the boat turned out to be decent! hi
  12. mav1971
    mav1971 6 September 2016 22: 18 New
    0
    Boa kaa,
    And if you put VNEU on such a large missile submarine, then I don’t know what the Amy will sing when they quietly sneak up to their coast, threatening the administrative and industrial centers on the US Pacific coast.


    It seems to me that large boats (namely large ones), even with VNEU, just like nuclear submarines, will be detected by magnetometric, passive acoustic (namely by the noise flowing around the hull) and thermal trail (VNEU has a fairly well-developed high-temperature component in the technical process).
    And when all this in a complex is tied up - that discovery - is not an insoluble problem.
  13. ava09
    ava09 15 October 2016 19: 41 New
    0
    The aggressor, no matter how "democrat" calls himself, is essentially an aggressor ... And also the same instigator of the arms race and armed conflicts and wars.