Submarines: September 6, 2001

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The US Navy announced it will begin converting two Ohio class ballistic missiles subs (SSBNs) to carry cruise missiles and commandoes (SEALs and marines). Each conversion will cost a billion dollars. Each boat has 24 missile silos that will be converted. Two silos will be converted to nine man exit chambers to get commandoes out of the submerged sub. The other 22 silos will be rebuilt to take either a storage canister for commando equipment or Multi-All Up Round canisters (MACs) that hold seven cruise missiles each. Thus a sub could carry a maximum of 154 cruise missiles. It is expected that the subs will always carry at least 98 missiles, unless there is a mission to deliver a lot of equipment with the commandoes (or resupply someone secretly.) There will be berths for 66 commandoes. The storage containers and MACs can be removed and replaced like the ballistic missiles were, giving the refurbed subs a lot of flexibility. There will also be upgrades in communications, ECM and sonar electronics.

 


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