03:38 GMT13 June 2021
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    The United States is developing "the quietest and least-detectable submarine in the history of the world," Kris Osborn wrote for Scout Warrior, citing senior service officials. The first Columbia-class sub to be produced under the Ohio Replacement Program is expected to enter service in 2031.

    The new ballistic missile submarine is designed to "patrol the undersea domain performing a crucial strategic deterrence missions," the analyst noted.

    The Columbia class, designed by Electric Boat, is said to incorporate the most advanced quieting technologies available. US defense officials have already disclosed two innovative solutions for the new submarines. These include a stern in a shape of an X and electric drive propulsion.
    The former will enhance the submarine's maneuverability and make it quieter.

    "With the X-stern, the Ohio Replacement will regain some of that maneuverability and, as a side effect, will have improved flow characteristics in the stern area while submerged. This will improve quieting and it simplifies the hydraulic control layout in the engine room," an unnamed US Navy official told the media outlet.

    USS Louisiana (SSBN-743)
    © Wikipedia / U.S. Navy / Mr. Brian Nokel
    Electric drive propulsion will also make the new submarines quieter. The same technology has already been used in the USS Zumwalt, the US Navy's brand new guided missile destroyer.

    Stealth is key for modern warfare and submarines are no exception.

    "If I am noisy I am not going to live very long. We are pushing the boundary of how to minimize our own signature while having a better ability to detect an adversary signature. We are improving in both," Rear Adm. Charles Richard, Director of UnderSea Warfare, told Scout Warrior.

    The US plans to build twelve Columbia-class submarines, with each costing less than $5 billion. Construction is said to begin in 2021. The submarines are expected to be ready by the early 2030s and remain in service until the 2080s.

    Interestingly, the subs, unlike the Ohio class, will require no mid-life refueling since they will have a "new nuclear-reactor core" that will power the ships for the entire lifespan of 42 years. "The US Navy has never designed and built a reactor with the kind of longevity as the powerplant being designed for the Ohio Replacement Submarine," defense analyst Dave Dave Majumdar observed.

    The new submarine will be outfitted with 16 Trident II D 5 nuclear missiles.


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    submarine construction, military technology, nuclear submarine, submarine, General Dynamics Electric Boat, US Navy, US
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