Following the news of the latest successful tests of hypersonic missiles from the United States, and obviously North Korea, it may have escaped people’s attention that the aging, yet respected, guided missiles in the United States Ohio-class submarines are designed to be among the first platforms to receive them. Already among the most heavily armed ocean-going ships on the planet, an arsenal of hypersonic missiles will solidify their future in the navy for years to come.
The Ohio-class submarines were first introduced in the early 1980s, with 18 built between 1981 and 1997. Designed as nuclear submarines for ballistic missiles (SSBN), they were put into operation to replace aging 41 for freedom-class submarines. During construction, they were the largest submarines ever built.
In the early 2000s, four of SSGN’s original fleet were converted to guided missile submarines after 1994 Review of the nuclear stand. This review recommended that the United States need only about 14 SSBN submarines to meet its strategic needs at the time.
Since then tThe Ministry of Defense has finally reduced Ohioclass of ballistic missiles (SLBM) with submarines with a capacity of 24 SLBMs to 20 in accordance with the limits for control of strategic nuclear weapons of the United States and Russia, established by the Treaty on the Reduction of Strategic Weapons.
The Ohio-class submarine is a difficult cookie
Each of the four SSGNs can carry no less addition of 154 Tomahawk missilesas well as a torpedo addition. Soon, its impressive ability to deliver destruction from a distance will include some hypersonic missiles, which are currently being developed under the Conventional Rapid Impact (CPS) program.
Such missiles will be able to hit targets with the same precision and range as existing guided missiles, but with incredible speed. In fact, such missiles must be able to move to their targets at almost 5 times the speed of sound. More importantly, this incredible speed will make intercepting and countering such missiles a really difficult task.
The US Navy is currently waiting to implement the new one hypersonic percussion weapons by 2025 It is not yet known how many of these new missiles will fit in each Ohio-class submarine silo, but it would not be unreasonable to assume two or three.
I will fall About 20 silos on each submarine are equipped in this way, this can mean a maximum payload between 44 and 66 submarine missiles. For this purpose tHe Tomahawk will still remain relevant, it may be preferable in many scenarios, so it is likely to carry a mixed load. If true, this would mean that the new missile will not increase or decrease the current firepower of Ohio-class submarine, but rather increase its power and flexibility.
Other countries are also developing their own hypersonic missiles, such as Russia and China, for their submarines. Russia, for example, is currently testing its new one Zircon rocket 3M22 (also romanized zircon), which can travel at Mach 8.
These missiles are likely to be delivered to existing ones in Russia Pr. 855M class submarines “Severodvinsk-II” and possibly modernized boats class “Oscar-II”.
From a US perspective, such a new missile payload would mean the rest Ohio-class submarines will remain the main platform until they retire.