Thursday, February 02, 2006

Missed Prediction?

United States SSGNs will be a powerful breed (quasi-attack submarine) reconfigured to counter terrorism. Formerly, they were part of the nation's nuclear deterrent. Officially loaded with up to 152 conventional, cruise missiles, they will also transport special operations forces to potential trouble sites. Now, if you were a jihadist, how well could you plan your day? Which will be off your coast unseen, the SSBNs with nukes, the SSGNs, or both?

What I had predicted: Small, Tactical, Sub-Launched Nukes

A DoD disclaimer (bottom right of my M.E. page) has been there a long time. On the good authority of our CNO, the conversion of four SSBNs is for conventional strike and SOF insertion, so officially I missed the prediction. There are laws, treaties and arms limitations (START II, for instance) that would call into question arming SSGNs with TLAM-Ns.

What about in a pinch (a war)? Would SSGNs accomodate TLAM-N payloads in a pinch or was a 1984 design discarded? See what I mean, submarines are always silent and strange.


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