MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — Procurement funding for the US next-generation strategic nuclear submarine will start in 2017 as expected, despite earlier media reports claiming the funds have not been found yet, a US Navy spokeswoman told Sputnik on Wednesday.
Compared to its predecessor — the third-generation Ohio-class strategic nuclear submarine, which was built from 1976 till 1997 — the fourth-generation replacement submarine is expected to feature fewer launch tubes, state-of-the-art sonar, optical imaging and weapons control systems, a new electric drive and a nuclear fuel core able to power the ship for its entire service life.
The first replacement submarine is expected to cost $12,4 billion, including $4,8 billion in design and engineering costs and $7,6 billion in construction costs. The first submarine is expected to enter service in 2031.
As of 2015, Russia is the world's only country with fourth-generation strategic nuclear submarines in service — the Borey-class submarines, which are to become the mainstay of the naval component of Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent.