Thursday, July 07, 2011

U.S. Submarine - From the Outfielders

Recently, three opinions regarding the future of the U.S. submarine fleet resurfaced in curious concert. What does their propaganda have in common? Only looming fiscal constraints/crisis.

1. Wineke: Why Bother With Expensive Submarine Fleets?
The article is short, the author clueless and some apt responses posted below it.

2. Gary J. Schmitt, Richard Cleary: U.S. Navy Needs Diesel Submarines
The article is equally brief, but has been presented with greater stature by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

3. Rear Admiral Michael J. Connor: Investing in the Undersea Future (U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE)
The article is as long as the precceding two combined, but the author has commanded SSN-21.
Nevertheless, respondents ask pertinent questions.

Forget diesel boats. AIP boats solve the artificially created problem of women crew on U.S. subs. Why? Because AIP subs have relatively limited ranges with shorter endurance at sea (port is nicer for women) and as Sweden demonstrated with HMS Gotland, can be built to accomodate both genders for limited sea missions.

from March 20, 2007-
The DOD sees big advantages in deploying AIP subs in the U.S. fleet. Unit cost is closer to $100 million than over $2 billion for the latest Virginia class submarines. Operating costs are much lower, as well, without nuclear powerplant operators. While U.S. companies will build these subs, Sweden will not sell upgraded stealth technology to foreign countries, because Sweden will provide AIP and perhaps other key hardware to Electric Boat. The U.S. boats will be between 236 and 256 feet in length, around 3,000 tons displacement and still crewed by 30 sailors (with room for 20 or so SEALs or mission hardware).

Submarines are always silent and strange.



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