Clive F wrote:Can anyone tell me, if after the 4 SSBN's have been made they made some more but without the "Trident" stuff how much more expensive would they be than new design SSN's? I know there is a lot of "unknowns". Would they be to big?. Could we fit TLAM's in the back? Better accommodation? SBS berths? Just curious, any opinions?
"How much more expensive than a new design SSN" depends heavily on what the desired specs for the new SSN are. Versus something like a reasonably upgraded repeat of the Astute
, there would definitely be a premium to be paid.
I don't think such a sub would be "too big" in operational terms. Over on this side of the big blue ball, the 688/774-size hull is just about maxed out and the next class of subs seems very likely to be larger. Whether a return to Seawolf
dimensions or just going ahead and adopting the Columbia
class plant and hull cylinders remains to be seen, but a large-diameter SSN future seems inevitable. And yes, embracing it would make it easier to cram additional payloads, from missiles to UUVs to SBS gear, into the envelope. Whether the UK can embrace a large-diameter SSN program and see it through past competing budget priorities, I couldn't say.