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Ohio class

Ballistic missile submarine

Ohio class SSBN

The Atlantic and Pacific Fleets have 10 and 8 Ohio class ballistic missile submarines respectively

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 1981
Crew 155 men
Diving depth (operational) 300 m
Diving depth (maximum) 500 m
Dimensions and displacement
Length 170.69 m
Beam 12.8 m
Draught 11.1 m
Surfaced displacement 16 764 tons
Submerged displacement 18 750 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 20 knots
Submerged speed 25+ knots
Nuclear reactors 1 x ? MW
Steam turbines 2 x 44.7 MW
Armament
Missiles 24 x Trident II D5 ballistic missiles
Torpedoes 4 x 533-mm torpedo tubes

 

   Designed in the early 1970s as successor to the Benjamin Franklin and Lafayette classes in the SSBN role, the lead boat of the Ohio class, the USS Ohio, was contracted to the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corporation in July 1974. As the result of an unfortunate series of problems both in Washington, DC, and at the shipyard, the lead vessel did not run its first sea trials until June 1981, and was not finally commissioned until November of that year, three years late. Production then improved, and the USS Louisiana, the last of these 18 boomers, was commissioned in September 1997. Currently the Ohio class boats are the only submarines in service with the US Navy, carrying ballistic missiles.

   The Atlantic and Pacific Fleets had 10 and eight boats with the Trident II D5 and Trident I C4 missiles respectively. However from 1996 the Trident I C4 missiles were replaced by more capable Trident II D5 missiles.

   The Trident II missiles have a range of 7 800 km with full load and 12 000 km with reduced load. Each missile can carry up to 14 warheads with a 475 kT yield each. Though START I agreement reduced this number to 8. Re-entry vehicles maneuver in order to avoid enemy air defenses. Each re-entry vehicle is targeted independently.

   Each submarine carries 24 rather than the earlier standard of 16 SLBMs, is expected to have a 12-month reactor refueling refit every nine years, and works a patrol period of 70 days followed by 25 days spent alongside a tender or jetty readying for the next patrol. Because of their longer-range Trident missiles, the Ohio class boats have patrol areas in waters either close to the US or in the remoter parts of the world's oceans, making virtually impossible effective anti-submarine measures, the more so as the boats, are acoustically very quiet.

   Other than the Ohio and Louisiana, the Ohio class boats are the Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Henry M. Jackson, Alabama, Alaska, Nevada, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Maine and Wyoming.

   The Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Georgia were converted to guided missile submarines (SSGNs). Their Trident missile tubes were modified to contain vertical launch systems. Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Such amount of cruise missiles is typically deployed in a surface battle group.

   Currently a new class of ballistic missile submarines, known as Columbia class, is being developed in the United States. This next-generation submarine will eventually replace the Ohio class. It is scheduled that construction of the lead boat will commence in 2021 and it will enter service in 2031. So the Ohio class boats will remain operational for a number of years to come.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Ohio (SSGN-726) 1976 1979 1981

converted to carry cruise missiles. Active, in service

Michigan (SSGN-727) 1977 1980 1982 converted to carry cruise missiles. Active, in service
Florida (SSGN-728) 1976 1981 1983 converted to carry cruise missiles. Active, in service
Georgia (SSGN-729) 1979 1982 1984 converted to carry cruise missiles. Active, in service
Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730) 1981 1983 1984

active, in service

Alabama (SSBN-731) 1980 1984 1985

active, in service

Alaska (SSBN-732) 1983 1985 1986

active, in service

Nevada (SSBN-733) 1983 1985 1986

active, in service

Tennessee (SSBN-734) 1986 1986 1988

active, in service

Pennsylvania (SSBN-735) 1984 1988 1989

active, in service

West Virginia (SSBN-736) 1987 1989 1990

active, in service

Kentucky (SSBN-737) 1987 1990 1991

active, in service

Maryland (SSBN-738) 1986 1991 1992

active, in service

Nebraska (SSBN-739) 1987 1992 1993

active, in service

Rhode Island (SSBN-740) 1988 1993 1994

active, in service

Maine (SSBN-741) 1990 1994 1995

active, in service

Wyoming (SSBN-742) 1991 1995 1996

active, in service

Louisiana (SSBN-743) 1992 1996 1997

active, in service

 

 

Video of the Ohio class ballistic missile submarine

 

 
Ohio class SSBN

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Ohio class SSBN

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Ohio class SSBN

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Ohio class SSBN

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Ohio class SSBN

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Ohio class SSBN

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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