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Destroying ships and submarines from the enemy’s surface, “spying” near the enemy’s shores, bringing massive firepower to strategic areas and launching deadly submarine drones are all missions that the United States Navy expects to see more in the future , since that the service plans to add as many as 32 attack submarines in the next 15 years.
In general, the addition of attack submarines represents the largest overall platform increase within the Navy’s ambitious plan to increase the fleet to 355 ships.
” The inventory of the battle force reaches 301 in 2020 and 355 in 2034, ” Commander Lt. Kevin Chambers told Warrior Maven .
The new submarines of the Navy harbor a series of innovative technologies designed to open a way to the future maritime war ; this includes more firepower, such as Tomahawk missiles and torpedoes, additional electrical power for emerging systems such as drones and sensors enabled for Artificial Intelligence, navigation and ship defenses.
As the Navy’s most recent 30-year Naval Construction Plan demonstrates, the Navy’s budget seeks to implement a new plan to build three Virginia-class attack submarines in some years to come. This, among other things, is intended to address a future submarine attack deficit planned for the next decade. For quite some time, Combat Commanders have expressed serious concern that the availability of attack submarines continues to be dangerously lower than what is needed . The Navy leadership has been working with Congress to accelerate production.
The previous status quo had been for the Navy to move down from the construction of two Virginia-class ships per year to one in the early 2020s, when the construction of the new Columbia-class nuclear submarines began. The service then moved to a plan to build two submarines of the Virginia class and one Columbia class submarine at the same time , according to the results of a previous Navy evaluation.
The Navy’s new plan is to build up to three Virginia-class submarines per year when the production of the Columbia class reaches a period of calm in “the last few years,” higher-ranking service leaders told Congress.
There are many reasons why attack submarines are increasingly in demand; Underwater vehicles are often capable of carrying out reconnaissance missions closer to the targets than deep-sea surface vessels. The forward positioning allows them to be “stealthy” in coastal areas, inlets or islands. As part of this, they can also move substantial firepower, in the form of Tomahawk missiles, closer to the targets inside .
The Navy is not only adding substantial firepower to its fleet of attack submarines, but the service is further emphasizing the rise of ” spies ” such as intelligence and surveillance reconnaissance missions. By taking advantage of the ability to operate closer to coasts and enemy threat areas than most surface ships, attack submarines can silently patrol the shallow waters near the enemy coast line, in search of submarines, ships of surface and coastal threats.
Improved underwater navigation and detection technology, using new sonar, increased computer automation and artificial intelligence , allows quieter and faster movements in coastal waters where they often operate enemy mines, small boats and other threatening assets.
The Virginia Class submarines are designed with a “cable piloting” capability that allows the ship to remain quietly in shallow water without having to emerge or have every small movement controlled by a human operator.
With “cable piloting” technology, a human operator will order depth and speed, allowing the software to direct the movement of submarines and the rudder to maintain course and depth , according to Navy program managers. to Warrior Maven . Submarines can be driven primarily through software code and electronics, thus freeing up time and energy for an operator who does not need to manually control every small maneuver.
“The most important characteristic for maneuvering in coastal waters is the cable piloting control system, by which the computers in the control center electronically adjust the control surfaces of the submarine, a significant improvement over the hydraulic systems used in the class of Los Angeles “, the article” The future of nuclear submarines “of Stanford University 2016 written by Alexander Yachanin describes this capability.
This technology, which uses upgradable software and fast-growing Aritificial Intelligence applications, expands the mission envelope for attack submarines by greatly expanding its ISR potential. Using real-time analysis and an instantaneous ability to draw on a broad database of information and input from sensors, computer algorithms can now perform a series of procedural functions that humans have historically performed . This can increase the speed of maneuverability and the ability of an attack submarine to quickly change course, change speed or alter depth position when faced with attacks.
The strategy documents of the Navy explain that a closer or littoral submarine advantage can increase the potential of the “ground attack” mission together with the antisubmarine and anti-surface war operations authorized by the ISR.
The Navy is implementing elements of this strategy with its recently launched USS South Dakota , a class III Virginia III attack submarine designed with a plethora of new and unprecedented underwater technologies, Navy officials said.
Many of these innovations, which have been underway and tested as prototypes for many years, will now be operational when the USS South Dakota enters service; Service technology developers have said, in general terms, that the advances in underwater technologies built, integrated, tested and now operational in USS South Dakota include silent technologies so that the engine room makes the submarine more difficult to detect, a new vertical wide variety and more helmet lining materials, “silent,” Navy officers told Warrior Maven .
The Class III Virginia Submarines also have what is known as a conformal arrangement of large arc opening, designed to listen to acoustic sound, analyze the return signal and provide the location and possible contours of the enemy ships, submarines and other threats.
The Class III Virginia Submarines also have what is called a large arc-opening, sand-shaped sonar system, designed to send an acoustic ping, analyze the return signal and provide the location and possible contours of the Enemy ships, submarines and other threats.
For the construction of Block V, the Navy plans to insert a new 84-foot-long section designed to house additional missile capacity . The payload modules of Virginia, which will be included in the next few years, will increase the firepower of the Tomahawk submarines from 12 missiles to 40.
The VPM submarines will have an additional section (approximately 84 feet) with four additional Virginia payload tubes, each capable of carrying seven Tomahawk cruise missiles, for a total of 40 Tomahawks .
Source: Israel Noticias