Photo: US Navy
As anyone who watched the movie Act of Valor knows, today’s U.S. nuclear submarines haul immense amounts of firepower across the seas of the world, and that they also deliver personnel just as quietly.Any U.S. submarine can be deployed to carry SEALs, but some have been designed to carry swimmers and their gear far more effectively than others.
While not all of the following nuclear subs are designed to carry special forces teams, even fewer are designed to deliver SEALs to shore under the cover of the sea.
Those boats are equipped with Seal Deliver Vehicles (SDVs), and while we’re not sure which of the following submarines have them, it’s a safe bet that most of the subs to come off the production line in the future will.
In the meantime, the following slides are available to the public so we can get a glimpse of what U.S. undersea assets really look ike.
The USS Seawolf, the first of its class, was launched in 1995 and designed to replace the Los Angeles class of nuclear attack subs
The USS Connecticut, second in the Seawolf class, is 353 feet long and weighs 9,137 tons fully loaded
The USS Connecticut has made numerous journeys to the arctic circle and allows for unique access to the expansive ice fields
The USS Jimmy Carter was the final sub of the Seawolf class and is named after the only President to qualify in submarines
The USS Virginia is the first in its class, designed to be a cheaper alternative to the larger Seawolf class
The USS Texas, like other Virginia-class subs, has an advanced photonics mast to remove the need for a cumbersome periscope
The USS Hawaii, the third Virginia class sub, has 12 vertical launch missile tubes and four torpedo tubes
The reactor on the USS North Carolina — fourth in the Virginia-class — is an S9G pressurised water nuclear reactor designed by GE's Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory
The USS New Hampshire was the first of the second production block of the Virginia subs — it was the first to be built in four sections instead of 10, saving $300 million per boat
Like the rest of the subs in the Virginia class, the USS New Mexico doesn't have a propeller, it has a pump-jet propulsor to stay stealthier
The USS Missouri was built by General Dynamics Electric Boat, one of the two shipbuilders sharing construction duties for the Virginia-class subs
The USS California — the most recent sub to fully enter service — was constructed by the other shipbuilder working on the project, Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding
The USS Mississippi was just commissioned in June 2012, is the most recent addition to the submarine fleet, and should enter service soon — here it is right before the christening ceremony in Pascagoula
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