Military Review

Project SSBN-X: less rockets, more money

The maritime component of the US nuclear forces is currently based on the Ohio 14 nuclear submarines, armed with X-NUMX Trident-II D-24 missiles each. The newest of these submarines, the USS Louisiana SSBN-5, was commissioned by the US Navy in September 743, 1997 years after the lead ship of the USS Ohio project, which gave the name to the entire series. A few years ago, the first four boats of the Ohio project were converted to use Tomahawk missiles (16 launch modules of seven missiles each). Despite the comparative novelty, the boats of the Ohio project, armed with strategic missiles, are already demanding that they begin to create a replacement for them.

About the beginning of the program SSBN-X or Ohio Replacement became known in 2008 year, when it was announced about preliminary research on the appearance of a promising submarine missile carrier. At the end of August 2012, it became known about the completion of the formation of common requirements for new submarines. 31 in August at the Washington Navy Yard shipyard (Washington, DC) a package of documents was signed concerning the requirements for the SSBN-X project, and a week after that the appearance of the necessary boat was approved by the command of the naval forces.

USS Louisiana SSBN-743 arrives at the first home port at Kitsap Base in Bangor, WA, October 12 2005

According to reports, the Ohio Replacement boats should be about the same size as the Ohio. At the same time, however, at the expense of a slightly larger case diameter, the full displacement of SSBN-X will be approximately two thousand tons more and amount to 20,5-20,8 thousand tons. The prospective submarine will be equipped with a nuclear power plant, electric motors and jet propulsion. Driving characteristics of the new submarines should not be lower than that of the “Ohio” project, with the need to reduce noise. The main feature and the main difference from the original Ohio Replacement Ohio will be the composition of weapons. Prospective boats should carry the Trident-16 version D-2 5 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

According to the current plans of the Pentagon, SSBN-X submarines will have to be in the ranks of the US Navy from the 2025-30 to the 2070-80 years. Achievement of such service life will be possible due to some changes in the structure of the onboard equipment. First of all, they relate to the reactor. A new nuclear power plant must have a service life of at least forty years, which coincides with the required service life of the boat itself. Thus, SSBN-X will not have to be removed from service for long-term maintenance and repair of the reactor, as was the case with all previous US nuclear submarines. It is worth noting that these requirements for Ohio Replacement in comparison with Ohio look quite severe: the Ohio project boats need to recharge the reactor and prevent all systems after twenty years of service.

Another technical problem concerns the armament of promising submarines. The United States Navy wants to get a submarine equipped with a modular system of mine launchers. The unified CMC (Common Missile Compartment) launch complex will have a modular structure. Since the UK is taking part in the SSBN-X project, this approach will allow us to equip promising boats of both countries with identical launchers and missiles, which will directly affect the cost of each individual submarine. According to the current plans of Washington and London, a CMC launch complex with sixteen mines will be placed on American submarines, and a reduced version of eight “cells” on the promising British submarines of the Successor project. The reasons why Britain is actively involved in the development of the CMC system are interesting. The fact is that the first of the English boats of the Vanguard project in 2024 will reach the age at which it should be written off. Americans, in turn, will begin to write off their "Ohio" three years later. Thus, the British naval seamen, wishing to continue the operation of the Trident family of missiles, are interested in the soonest completion of work on the CMC topic, so as not to be left without strategic submarines. Because of this, since 2010, the UK has covered a large part of the research and development costs.

Project SSBN-X: less rockets, more money

The characteristic problem of the Ohio Replacement project, even at the design stage, was the constant fluctuations in the cost of finished submarines. After several years of disputes, the US military agreed to reducing the SSBN-X series of boats to 12 units. At the same time, the cost of the program is constantly becoming the object of criticism, above all, of congressmen. At the beginning of the program in 2008-09, it was planned to spend billions of dollars on the construction of each of the submarines at 7-8. Subsequently, under pressure from the financial structures of the Pentagon and Congress, the command of the Navy had to agree to a reduction in the maximum cost of new submarines to 4,8-5 billion apiece, with corresponding losses in quality and performance. At the same time, over the past months, naval military leaders have had to “fight” with contractors too. According to several calculations, the cost of each SSBN-X submarine can be reduced to 5,5-5,8 billion without any significant loss in capabilities, which still exceeds the amount required by Congress.

In March of this year, the Control and Financial Department of the US Congress published an interesting report. According to analysts of the Office, while maintaining the current financial trends, the total cost of the Ohio Replacement program may eventually exceed 90 billions, of which about 12 will be spent on design work, and the rest on the construction of the ships themselves. To this we should add a few more billions of service during the service and the indignations of the congressmen will be clear: the SSBN-X project is quite expensive even for the United States. For comparison, it is worth mentioning the economic indicators of the Ohio project, each boat of which cost 2-2,5 billion dollars.

The financial problems of the Ohio Replacement project so far have led to several serious consequences. Thus, difficulties in forming an acceptable cost for ready-made submarine missile carriers caused the purchase of the lead boat, previously planned for 2019, to be transferred to the 2021, which may lead to a shift in delivery dates for the entire series. In addition, to further reduce the cost of each submarine to the required five billion Pentagon, you may have to change the hardware requirements, or look for alternative ways to ensure the required characteristics. One of the ways to do this may be the creation of a modular architecture of onboard systems and equipment, which in the future will make it relatively easy and cheap to replace obsolete units with modern and advanced ones.

Anyway, the main problem of the SSBN-X project continues to be its financial side. The complexity of the development of new technologies and the creation of promising technology in this case "intersect" with the constant reduction of the defense budget. As a result, even the current plans for the construction of the head of the submarine for the 2021 year may not come true. In this case, the US Navy will have another problem: the ending resource of the existing Ohio boats and the impossibility of replacing them quickly and fully.

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    PISTOL 19 December 2012 09: 12
    Russia also does not stand still, already as a year or a year and a half is the development of nuclear submarines of the 5th generation, I have no doubt that they will be much better than Ameroco!
    1. ret55
      ret55 19 December 2012 13: 31
      Putin’s new dacha project is just being developed for several billion. It’s better to tell how the new missile carrier was built from 4 unfinished boats during the union. It’s better to drink some drinks than to write nonsense here, and whoever will develop all the normal people will dump here from anywhere
      1. altman
        altman 19 December 2012 15: 01
        No .. not everyone dumps .. you are still here ...
        1. ret55
          ret55 19 December 2012 15: 46
          If he had been an engineer or a scientist, he would have fallen for a long time, but one has to hope that most will understand who Putin and his friends are and throw off this junta. I’ve been here in several regions that they’ll live badly, officials are stealing it, etc., but as for Putin, they were ready to kill him, but it was Putin who created this system, crooks and thieves, why Serdyukov is not sitting around, why Luzhka was released and like him, but because some drugan Pu others share money with him and his entourage and they are released with stolen goods. When will the people see the light or has it completely degraded?
          1. Delta
            Delta 19 December 2012 16: 53
            And under Peter they stole under Ivan the Terrible and any other. And even under Stalin. That's right, the boss is to blame, but is it worth it to think that this boss is from the same people, from the same land. Start with yourself, or if you can’t accept, leave. There is no third
            1. ret55
              ret55 19 December 2012 17: 13
              Well, I started from myself a long time ago: I studied, now I work and pay taxes, I go in for sports, I don’t drink and don’t smoke, I don’t do robbery and sweating, and it’s more and more difficult to live every year, I started with myself and what's the point, a fat thief tells me how to live and calls me cattle because I don’t have how much money they have, although these freaks don’t even have a vocational school, apparently you’re right to have to blame even in countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic or Bulgaria, preferably Canada or Australia
              1. speedy
                speedy 19 December 2012 19: 11
                Quote: ret55
                , apparently you're right to have to blame even in countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic or Bulgaria, preferably Canada or Australia

                Vali is heartfelt, do not spoil the air with marsh aromas!
              2. Denzel13
                Denzel13 19 December 2012 19: 24
                Nobody keeps ret55 - go ahead! The addresses of the consulates of the above states on the Internet are not a problem to find out. We will not wave after the handkerchief. What time are you wasting on pouring out your views to us? They (your views), the bulk of those present - on a tambourine. The program for the renewal of the US submarine fleet is being discussed, but not the question: "Who lives well in Russia?"
          2. Kir
            Kir 19 December 2012 17: 14
            Thanks to Ryabov for the article, and now point by point.
            "Would be an engineer or a scientist ...."
            That is, the state will pay for my education, and I’m all over myself with such a dump, iron-concrete logic, soaped up so much and the more, the more of these from the Fatherland dump the better. And with regards to Putin, he is only the heir and not the creator of this Bedlam, the only question is whether he cannot or does not want to carry out serious purges. And he hopes that the majority will follow the liberal and others like them, then it really is not the people but ....
            In conclusion, according to the most promising submarine, well, as always, you can’t put their design close to the same Sharks, or type 971 of the project, although there are different classes, but they didn’t stand next to it, especially since we licked the contours from the first K-3 nuclear submarine. The most important thing is not to stop, not forgetting along the course and in the most severe way to punish the personalities, who are power-decreasing with their actions !!!
            1. ret55
              ret55 19 December 2012 17: 57
              Of course, graduate from college and work for 15000 woodpeople, and a mountain monkey eating Russian will eat a bentley and live in a smart house, and you pay for a penny, why do I spend time studying and working should live in shit and the inhabitants of the southern republics are not working and millionaires. Putin is not the heir, he is the founder of this system, find and read about the cooperative Lake especially pay attention to the surnames, most of the equipment was drank not with the drunk Yeltsin, but just with Pu, it was during Pu that we began to pay tribute to the Caucasus and the massive importation of chocks, at this time Russian became the most powerless in Russia, the number of billionaires and the largest export of capital from Russia increased. It was under Pu that the army, education, medicine, production, and agriculture were finally destroyed. And you rub here that Putin has nothing to do with it, he thinks about Russia day and night, and why his daughters do not live in Russia and he hides them in every possible way, but for him Russia is a platform for making money, Putin works for thieves and crooks (oligarchs and like) they plunder the country and share with Pu and that gives them to withdraw capital. You are either Nashi or Alco Patriot (well, or zombie)
              1. Kir
                Kir 19 December 2012 18: 14
                Watch the language, THIS IS THE FIRST, but at the expense of being patrolled they are mine and obviously not your compatriots, and they are dismissed from the permission to say with the connivance of "our" bureaucrats and in the same way. And if you still want to write there is a personal. And in general there is a topic about the nuclear submarine.
                I apologize to everyone for not being in PM.
                1. ret55
                  ret55 19 December 2012 18: 25
                  with the connivance of "our" bureaucrats

                  So these bureaucrats were created by Putin and his regime, as you are defending him as a Putinist, I suppose you are stealing yourself or your relatives, and how you reacted to the monkeys most likely is precisely their number. Why let the PM know that you are a Putinist and an accomplice to the thieves regime
                  1. sniper
                    sniper 19 December 2012 19: 26
                    ret55 , dear, well, you are somehow not at all in the subject of discussion, in general, then such flood posts are called and deleted ....
                    Well, on the topic, it is good that even in rich America the same problems as ours. That is, our difficulties are due to objective reasons, and not the inability or unwillingness of the authorities to update the equipment ... Well, something like that, in my opinion ...
  2. gregor6549
    gregor6549 19 December 2012 13: 09
    It is a completely reasonable and systematic approach to re-equipping your submarine fleet, covering all aspects of operating such complex "gizmos" as nuclear submarines and maximizing the efficiency / cost ratio. In addition, the unification of weapons systems with the systems used by the US allies in NATO is laid down and, consequently, the expansion of the market for these "galoshes". In general, there is a lot to learn, given that the issues of operation, repair and disposal of nuclear submarines and their atomic "stuffing" have always been the "Achilles' heel" of the Soviet Navy. I don’t think there are any serious shifts in the Russian Navy in this regard, although I could be wrong. And further. That we count their money all the time? I would like to learn how to count and spend effectively. And for their money, let the head bo bo their President, together with theirs Congress.
    1. Alvin
      Alvin 19 December 2012 15: 14
      That's right, you need to learn how to count your money, only to do something first, so that they are not stolen by the millions. Otherwise, the effectiveness of a 13-room strategic apartment with dividing rooms in terms of firing at the targets of a potential enemy is not very ... "Bulava" would be brought to normal ...
    2. Papakiko
      Papakiko 20 December 2012 00: 09
      For comparison, it is worthwhile to cite the economic performance of the Ohio project, each boat of which cost $ 2-2,5 billion.
      And the cost of each SSBN-X submarine is up to 5,5-5,8 billion, which still exceeds the amount required by Congress.

      Taking into account theirs "sawing appetites", R&D is not sickly even perepadet.
      In Severodvinsk, they would not refuse this either, but alas, our budget is much more modest. Let's play catch-up again.
      I hope our constructors with unification and modularity will stock up on a couple of "surprises" for "friends-partners" from NATO.
  3. zambo
    zambo 19 December 2012 15: 22
    Remove the trolls ...
  4. Kibl
    Kibl 19 December 2012 17: 50
    I’m wondering, what’s Putin here, in the article there is not a word about him, they like all sorts of tricks to screw the GDP to each pillar, it won’t be there, so all Navalny, Nemtsov, Kasparov sitting on the American green needle get to power there! And then Russia doesn’t the fact that he will not see the new submarines, he will not find tarpaulin boots!
    1. ret55
      ret55 19 December 2012 18: 16
      Or maybe we’ll try what’s going to happen to them, we’ll always have time to return, why are you only for Putin and his gang, it’s the same as there is only one chicken and refuse to try pork, suddenly it is worse. Tell us about bad America in Germany, Japan and South Korea and compare their standard of living with ours.
      Read the article here
      More than two years ago, a statement by one of the ideologists of the United Russia party, Yuri Gusakov, appeared on the Internet. The text saved for the history looks like this:
      “The country is inhabited by a beast-like rabble, which simply cannot be allowed to freely choose. This rabble should moo in the stall, and not burst with dirty hooves into my cozy, air-conditioned office. For this, “Ours”, “Molodogvareytsy” and other cattle were invented. Is it not clear that with free elections and equal access to the media, at least the DPNI and other brown people will win? ”
      “It’s not necessary to bring down the country now, when“ Nashi ”and other sovereign we are in formation. It is necessary to get out of here precisely when the all-bestial mass, when these animals are allowed to choose their worthy power. That's when I will be the first to break into the American embassy. And now everything is fine - you can earn money, you can bark at the Kremlin in LJ, you can fly anywhere. And the child does not need to change the Jewish name to Russian so that he enters Moscow State University. Now complete freedom. Just do not take propaganda at your own expense. She’s not being fooled by us, she’s being protected from the aggressive, stupid, impoverished mass that will devour everything, just give her free rein! ”
      Putin and To day and night think about Russia
      1. altman
        altman 19 December 2012 19: 14
        Every nation is worthy of a government that has ...
      2. speedy
        speedy 19 December 2012 19: 27
        The eco poor fellow got stuck, can't be stopped, just Naval Analny with pain about Russia and a desire to bring down ... bring down the "hearty" flag in the post.
  5. patsantre
    patsantre 19 December 2012 19: 55
    For the US, nuclear forces are not as important as for us. Nobody is going to attack them, hardly anyone can take out their mines and submarines with high-precision non-nuclear strikes, and no one has a decent missile defense. IMHO, on this program could save. We would make a modernized Ohio project, and the costs of development, production and operation would be several times less.
  6. Kentishka
    Kentishka 20 December 2012 15: 24
    I wonder what noise they have now and what the new boats will have, our apl, for example Severodvinsk, can find such a boat in the ocean or not, compare it with ours
  7. Andrey77
    Andrey77 20 December 2012 17: 02
    Why don't they have a "hump" like our SSBNs?
  8. gregor6549
    gregor6549 22 December 2012 05: 13
    The main reason for the "hunchback" of Soviet SSBNs was the inability to create at that time sea-launched ballistic missiles with dimensions comparable to those of US ICBMs in terms of performance characteristics. "Gorb", in turn, makes a significant contribution to the level of noise levels of nuclear submarines, which have always been the "Achilles heel" of Soviet nuclear submarines. And here not only the "hump" is to blame, but also the use of a two-body scheme, in contrast to the single-body one used in the States and much more.