Thursday, October 25, 2007

Exciting "New" Role for SSGNs: A Much Larger Wallop Than Most Expect?

UPDATE: Oct. 29, 19:10 - The new Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) being developed by The Boeing Company, is a GPS-guided weapon containing more than 5,300 pounds of conventional explosives inside a 20.5-foot long enclosure of hardened steel. source The 44- foot length of a Trident II missiile (SSGN missile tube capacity) easily accomodates the MOP. Which is the more stealthy method of launching 10 MOPS at ten underground bunkers: from 10 (corrected from 5) flying B-2 bombers, or from 1 hidden SSGN?

Publicly... [color emphasis mine]
Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) - Pentagon Wants B-2 Bomber to Carry 30,000-Pound Bomb (Update1) - The Defense Department's new Iraq war funding request proposes upgrading the B-2 stealth bomber to carry the military's largest satellite-guided bomb capable of penetrating deeply buried bunkers. The new 30,000-pound bomb is six times bigger than the Air Force's current 5,000-pound bunker-buster. ... The B-2 is the only U.S. bomber capable of penetrating an adversary's most dangerous air defenses such as those believed in use by North Korea and Iran. - source

Also, according to Anthony Cordesman in a TV interview this week, the public has only heard about penetrating weapons from the 1990s, not what the U.S. now has that may work great.

Oct 14, 2007 (NavyTimes) - First converted SSGN to deploy overseas - Ohio will depart from its pier at Kitsap Naval Base in Bremerton, Wash., for a deployment expected to last 15 months, said Lt. Kyle A. Raines, a Submarine Group Nine spokesman. source
The Bangor-based submarine is the first of four Tridents to be converted from carrying nuclear to conventional weapons to adapt to changing world threats. Trident II SLBM weight: 130,000 lb each (in up to 24 tubes). How many empty tubes (not the tubes filled with 7 cruise missiles) does an SSGN really have available?

Secretively ? ...
October 13, 2007 ( - USS Ohio to Deploy With New Weapons, a New Mission - "I think the use of Tomahawks, especially in the beginning stages of a war or battle, is pretty well established," said Philip Coyle, also of the Center for Defense Information. "At this point in the situations in Iraq or Afghanistan it wouldn't be appropriate anymore because now they're trying to find small groups of individuals, sometimes individual car bombers. Tomahawks just don't have that kind of precision."

Publicly ... (this link may suddenly disappear, although that would just be quite coincidental)
Spring 2000 Vol. 2, No. 3 (Undersea Warfare) - by RADM Richard P. Terpstra, USN: OH, How Offensive - Hard and deeply buried targets will remain a difficult task. The large volume of an SSGN missile tube also lends itself to the possibility of housing a powerful conventionally-armed penetrating missile should we need it. Such a weapon could change an enemy's calculus and make bunker duty a lot less desirable for our foes. Development and deployment of the SSGN will allow us to keep this fearsome conventional option open.

Submarines are always silent and strange. You get the point with this YouTube

Trident Launch...



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