Thursday, September 08, 2005

Future of SSNs: Unauthorized Prediction of the Esoteric

The following is my prediction only and it is based on a cursory analysis of publicly available information:

SSNs (also known as fast attack) are only necessary for certain, limited types of submarine operations. The 'N' in SSN denotes nuclear propulsion; SS denotes a submarine of the USN.

A mothership (submerged replenishment and crew) concept reduces the total number of SSNs needed even further (my guess, perhaps into single digits). Submerged motherships are my conjecture. Have found nothing about them yet.

AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) non-nuclear subs may fulfill remaining submarine roles handily and with three major advantages:
+ Shorter production lead times;
+ Lower, more contollable aquisition costs; and
+ Reduced manning, and operating costs.

Things are going to get very interesting with respect to basing any new SSNs, which are probably going to be scarce and secretive than ever, in my opinion.

What is your opinion?


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