Home » News & Analysis » Navy Wants to Use Virginia Payload Module to Deploy New Missiles, UUVs

Navy Wants to Use Virginia Payload Module to Deploy New Missiles, UUVs

Harpoon fired from USS Olympia on July 12, 2018. US Navy Photo

ARLINGTON, Va. – The undersea warfare community wants to boost attack sub lethality by providing new payloads for the Virginia-class SSNs, especially ones that can be leveraged through the Virginia Payload Module missile tubes that will be added to new-construction boats beginning this year.

Program Executive Office for Submarines Executive Director George Drakeley said at the two-day annual Naval Submarine League symposium last week that, when the Navy was first pitching the idea of adding the VPM missile tube capacity to SSNs, “we were only really allowed to talk about it as a replacement for SSGN (Ohio-class guided-missile submarine) strike; we weren’t able to talk about other missions. And most of you here as submariners and warfighters could think of a lot of things you could do with a VPM. Well, the handcuffs are off now, and lately we’ve been talking about other capabilities.”

“We’re in a great power competition now, and so we need to be focusing on other potential capabilities,” he said, citing Russia and China as adversaries that needed to be kept in mind while developing these new payloads.

Rear Adm. John Tammen, director of undersea warfare on the chief of naval operations’ staff (OPNAV N97), said at the event that “we have to get past the days of just ADCAP (advanced capability Mk 48 heavyweight torpedo) and TLAM (Tomahawk land-attack missile) as being our two principle weapons.”

Also addressing the Russian and Chinese advancements in the undersea warfare realm, Tammen said, “there will be no adversary that gets a free ticket to hunt us. … We brought back Harpoon (anti-ship missile) so we can give the commanding officers this engagement-breaking weapon that they have in case they’re being hunted by a surface vessel. That said, we’re looking at all domains to make sure no one gets that free ticket.”

The Navy is looking at both new missiles as well as unmanned undersea vehicles being potential payloads that could be deployed from the VPM tubes.

Sailors load a Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile on to the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN-717) on July 3, 2018. US Navy Photo

On the weapons side, Tammen told USNI News after his presentation that the surface warfare community is developing a next-generation land-attack weapon (NGLAW) that is currently going through an analysis of alternatives. Though the surface warfare directorate (OPNAV N96) is overseeing the program, the undersea warfare directorate would look at adapting the weapon to be used from the VPM, providing another land-attack option beyond TLAM.

UUVs are another attractive option to deploy from the VPM, but Tammen told USNI News the Payload Handling System that would move the UUVs from inside the submarine into the VPM tubes is still a challenge and funding has not yet been secured.

The admiral said the UUV-VPM pairing relies on “a payload handling system, which will allow you to take a UUV vertical and then into the tube. Now the challenge right now is with chemical batteries you can’t take some of our vehicles vertical, so we have to get lithium ion or some other technology to allow us to go vertical, and then that should coincide with when we have the payload handling system.” He said funding for the handling system is pre-decisional and in the works now.

Tammen told the crowd during his presentation that “when we originally sold the Virginia Payload Module it was to reconstitute the TLAM strike inventory that we’re losing with Ohio-class SSGNs. We have to make sure that [U.S. Pacific Command] and [U.S. European Command] have the TLAMs they need to carry out their war plans,” but he added OPNAV N97 will “continue to give options to the commanders in terms of payloads for those tubes.”

Drakeley noted during his speech that, in addition to talk about using VPMs for innovative purposes, PEO Subs is also continuing to work on new torpedoes to add new capability to attack subs.

The PEO is “doing a whole lot of work on lethality. We’ve had the same torpedoes, both heavyweight and lightweight, in the inventory it seems like forever. We haven’t really had any new torpedoes since before I came into the submarine community, so we’re working on that,” he said.

Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN-780) on May 31, 2018. US Navy Photo

In the longer term, Block VI and VII Virginia-class SSNs will have a chance to bring in more capability, as well as the eventual “New SSN” program, which the submarine community had previously called SSN(X).

“One of the items that’s being looked at on Block VI is SOF (Special Operations Forces) optimization,” Virginia-class program manager Capt. Chris Hanson said during a panel discussion.

“We look for capabilities to help the synergy with unmanned undersea vehicles, and it will also give us the ability to move forward in the realm of seabed and subsea warfare,” Tammen said of Block VI and VII boats.

After Block VII, Tammen said, there will be no margin left for added speed or acoustic management, and “we’ll have to transition to the next block, which is New SSN. New SSN is going to be where we put the fast back in fast attack.” The Navy is currently thinking about how much capacity the sub will need to carry various payloads, how big to make the hull, what kind of propulsion system to use, and more.

“We’ve started the intellectual pushups to make sure that we’re ready to go define the tradespace for the next SSN – hull size, ship length, diameter, what goes in that. Let’s define an envelop, we’re working on it,” Naval Reactors director Adm. Frank Caldwell said at the symposium.

  • DaSaint

    Very promising report. Great to hear that they’re looking forward beyond ADCAP Mk48. Just the other day I was saying that weapon has been around for a long time, though it has been significantly updated. A NG Heavyweight is needed!

    • NavySubNuke

      I think I mentioned Contender to you in that discussion a few days ago…. Though I realize there isn’t much in the public about it.
      That and a tube launched version of LRASM are all I want for Christmas…
      A new lightweight torpedo for the airdales and targets would also be a nice benefit. Something a bit more lethal to certain large diameter double hulled SSGNs would certainly be a nice to have if we start shooting at each other.

      • Natalya

        A tube launched version of LRASM would give our sub commanders many more options than they have now–great idea! But I’m curious, were you referring to a): A LRASM /w booster in a canister deployed via a torpedo tube or b): tube launched version of LRASM /w booster launched via a VPM (possibly carrying 6 or 7 LRASM’s) per VPM?

        • Centaurus

          Trump may test them on the “caravan”. He no think so clearly.

        • NavySubNuke

          Yes to both. Amd the VPTs too.

          • Natalya

            Thank you!

        • Duane

          I believe that LRASM does not fit inside a standard 21 inch torpedo tube. It has a body shape that is non-cylindrical, and its widest dimension (even without a cannister for submerged launching) exceeds 21 inches. So LRASM would need to be launched from a vertical tube.

    • Duane

      The Mk 48 is a superb weapon for killing surface ships, great for breaking their keels and quickly sending them to the bottom, something ASCMs are not good at. The need for that capability won’t go away. But its 650 pound warhead is gross overkill for ASW work, where sea pressure does most of the work if you can punch a small hole in the pressure hull at depth.

      But a very long range missile-boosted NIFCCA-networked lightweight torpedo, a “super-ASROC” – that would be a great capability to add to a VPM. Especially for killing smaller coastal defense boats like the Chinese, Iranians, and NORKs use. The American SSN could stay out in the deeper water where life is better for subs, and kill the small coastal boats that threaten our amphibious forces … coordinating with aircraft and LCS equipped with ASW modules.

  • NavySubNuke

    Not exactly a secret that you could put a lot more out of a VPM tube than 7 TLAMs. A 33 foot tall tube with 87 inches of ocean interface opens up all kinds of capabilities for different things.
    I am surprised to see UUV battery discussion vs. handling equipment discussed in a public space like this though…. wouldn’t it be nice to let other countries figure that out one out on their own preferably the hard way?
    Regardless, this article is a perfect example of why SSN(X) will almost certainly be larger than the current Virginia’s even if they aren’t quite up to a VPM in terms of size.

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      Funny because the first thing I thought about when reading the battery info and payload handling etc. was “Wow… now this is the type of technical stuff I love to read… and seems a little odd these details are being spoken about…. ” I would never have thought “Batteries and Baggage-Handling is crucial in the new sub”…

  • Duane

    A new very long range missile-launched lightweight ASW torpedo would make a lot of sense today, especially in the networked world of NIFCCA. Conceptually, mount a lightweight torpedo on a missile booster, just like ASROC, but with much longer range and digital network comms. Instead of the current ASROC range of just 12 miles, something that can go out to 50 or 100 miles or more, far beyond the sensing range of the launch boat’s own sensors, would be an ideal next gen weapon for the vertical tubes.

    With the new systems already under development to allow long range underwater comms, a sensor aircraft (a MH-60, or P3, or anything else with a sensor) could detect an enemy boat, and then call in the cavalry from distant SSNs, or surface ships too, and get a long range kill after being vectored in by the eye in the sky.

    For ASW work, you really only need a lightweight torpedo anyway, as a Mk 48 ADCAP is overkill for subs, though its large warhead is necessary for killing surface ships.

    • NavySubNuke

      “For ASW work, you really only need a lightweight torpedo anyway, as a Mk 48 ADCAP is overkill for subs, though its large warhead is necessary for killing surface ships.”
      Yeah…. no.
      Not for killing Russian SSGNs/SSBNs anyway. You realize those have double hulls right?

      • Duane

        At depth it only takes a very small hole in the pressure hull to sink a large submarine. Which is why all of our surface ship launched and air launched torpedoes are all “lightweight torpedoes”. The warhead of a Mk 54 lightweight torpedo is just under 100 pounds as compared to 650 pounds for a Mk.48.

        At a relatively shallow 200 feet submergence depth, a mere three inch round hole in the pressure hull will admit over 6 tons of water per minute. Submarines generally operate with relatively little positive buoyancy even after ballast tanks are blown … and if a main ballast tank itself is penetrated by a torpedo hit, that available buoyancy gets lost too. The bigger the hole, and/or the deeper the depth, the flooding rate increases proportional to area of the hole and depth.

        It’s physics and engineering.

        • NavySubNuke

          I’m not questioning physics…. I’m questioning why you actually believe a LWT with it’s tiny warhead is enough to actually put a hole into the inner pressure hull of a double hulled submarine.

          • Duane

            I’m questioning why you think the US Navy doesn’t know what it’s doing by exclusively using lightweight torpedoes for all of its surface ship and aerial attacks on submarines.

            I mean, the Navy actually does know what its doing, these weapons are fully tested and proven as to their effects on submerged submarines.

            The only use of the Mk 48 is by submarines. They are used for both surface ship and ASW attacks, because that is the only ASW weapon our subs have today.

            The working range of a Mk 48 is OK for subs that rely only on onboard sensors – the ranges are complementary. But a large form factor missile-launched lightweight torpedo could feature have a far longer range, far longer than today’s Mk 48s or ASROCs .. and off-platform sensors and emerging underwater comms tech can match up to that range effectively too.

          • NavySubNuke

            Reposting since you deleted the first one out of embarrassment:
            The limitations of our LWT lethality wise are known and have been discussed extensively for years. That is why the MK-50 had a shaped charge warhead vs. the MK-46 which did not….. turns out it didn’t actually matter and didn’t improve performance which is why they want back to the Mk-46 warhead for the Mk-54.
            I realize you don’t really have any understanding of this but to put it into simple terms it doesn’t really matter if a P-8 has to hit a sub with 3 or 4 torpedoes – every hit rattles things around, every hit does more damage, every hit makes the boat louder. Eventually they are going to die or give up.This doesn’t really work with another submarine since whoever you are shooting can shoot back at you.
            Which is why we have the Mk-48 heavy weight torpedo for our submarines. Because even though you have no understanding of this subject or of how submarine hulls work the Navy actually does and knows that the LWT warheads are inadequate.

        • Natalya

          The Akula class SSN and Typhoon class SSBN, the largest in the world, along with the latest Borei class SSBN are double-hulled. All made of a high grade steel and possibly titanium. Some of these subs are huge with built-in swimming pools and saunas.

          A lightweight torpedo “might” punch a hole in their outer hull if it’s a lucky shot, but rupture the second hull? These subs are likely have heavy sound dampening material between the hulls too. I might be mistaken, but to really do major damage to these huge boats, you’ll need a Mk 48 ADCAP if not two.

          When reading about them, they were designed to take a few hits and survive. Ironically, seven boats sunk by causes they inflicted on themselves.

          • Duane

            Virtually all submarines are double hulled … that’s how ballast tanks work, an outer hull and an inner hull, and the inner hull is the pressure hull. It’s been that way since the USS Holland in 1900. Yet submarines have always proved to be easy kills if any munition makes a direct hit at depth. Even a mere hedgehog with its 35 pounds of torpex was the most effective sub killer in World War Two. It worked far better than depth charges because it only detonated on contact with the outer hull of the submarine.

            Submariners in WW Two were extremely reluctant to get into a running surface gun battle with a surface ship, whether it was an armed escort or an armed merchantman. Even a single hit on the upper hull by a gun as small as 3 inches could easily penetrate both the outer hull and the inner pressure hull, making it impossible for the submarine to submerge.

            The shock wave that is created inside the sub by an underwater explosion at depth on an outer hull envelope, with the inner volume being air filled, is horrendous and results in all sorts of damage including blown seals, broken hull penetrations, etc.

            And there is nothing that requires that only a single lightweight torpedo be used in an attack against a submarine. In fact, multiple torpedoes are going to be used in most instances of an ASW attack … the attackers will keep attacking until the sub is destroyed … that’s how all ASW attacks are conducted, even going back to World Wars One and Two. If the first hit just results in a damaged sub, the rest will finish the work.

            It’s called ASW tactics.

          • waveshaper1

            I believe that all, if not most, of the US/NATO lightweight torpedo warhead designs have been upgraded/changed from blast/pressure warheads with contact fuzing to armor defeating (shaped charge) warheads with contact fuzing. For example; I think most of the MK54 lightweight torpedoes now have the MK 50 shaped charge warhead or something similar installed, these replaced the MK46 blast warheads.

            – The next logical move by the sub community to protect against a contact fuzed/shaped charge warhead will be to install reactive armor kits on the subs hull, lol:<)
            – Note; I haven't looked this stuff up yet (I doubt you will be able to find much info on this subject) but i did work on some of these new warhead designs back in the 1980's.

          • Now I want to see someone draw a picture of a submarine with ERA tiles and slat armor.

          • NavySubNuke

            Cool but not needed. Especially given the rise of anti-torpedo torpedoes (already deployed/being deployed on our CVNs).
            US made the choice to make sure our subs were so quiet you couldn’t find them to kill them.
            Russia realized their limitations and went the opposite way and made it so their subs could survive a hit and punch back — for their big nukes anyway. Although according to open source info the Yasen/Sev has a single hull so maybe they think they have caught up to us sound silencing wise.

          • Duane

            Warhead design evolves continuously, as do the other aspects of torpedo design. Whether shaped charges, or tandem charges, or void-sensing, or whatever. But as I pointed out above, any direct contact detonation on an outer hull of any submerged submarine (meaning, the ballast tanks are full of seawater) will transmit 100% of the hydraulic shockwave to the inner pressure hull and do its damage, even if the actual inner steel envelope is not directly penetrated. Seals blow, and seawater penetrations through the pressure hull literally break off and open the pressure hull directly to seawater pressure through multiple openings, some quite large.. Many of the seawater penetrations are quite large, such as for seawater cooling systems, torpedo tubes, ventilation and exhaust systems, etc., and if a detonation breaks one of those, the sub goes down like a rock.

            Also, any such contact explosion on an outer hull in the vicinity of the torpedo room(s) can set off sympathetic explosions of any torpedoes carried on the boat.

            In World War Two, when Brit and US warships used Hedgehogs with their tiny little 35 pound warheads, it took as little as one or two hits to sink a sub. But the destroyer sonar operators noted that if a large number of hits ensued (up to a dozen at a time on a single Hedgehog firing), inevitably the entire sub just massively disintegrated, meaning that at least one of the Hedgehogs caused a sympathetic detonation of one or more of the torpedoes on the unlucky submarine.

            But it is obvious that lightweight torpedoes are the ASW weapon of choice for the US Navy and for NATO, and have been for many decades, and not just because our Naval designers are too stupid and did not consult with the stubborn and obviously wrong headed commenter above in this thread.

          • NavySubNuke

            They actually just went back to the Mk-46 warhead for the Mk-54 instead of keeping the Mk-50 warhead…. Not sure I ever saw the exact reasoning but one of the killers was that it just didn’t make enough of a difference.

          • waveshaper1

            I finally did some research on this subject and it’s very confusing/depends on the source; I know back in the 1980’s that the plan was to install shaped charge warheads in all lightweight torpedoes, for obvious reasons. Here the latest source I could find; Date – 23 August 2018, Title – “Navy asks Progeny Systems to build upgrade kits for MK 54 torpedo for surface ships and aircraft”, Excerpt – “The MK 54 Mod 1 is the newest version of the Navy’s MK 54 Lightweight Torpedo, which is the primary anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapon for U.S. surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters. The MK 54 combines the advanced sonar transceiver of the MK 50 torpedo with the legacy warhead”. Note; The MK 50 “legacy” warhead is a Shaped Charge warhead.

            Here’s a little history on the logical evolution of “US/NATO/Others” lightweight torpedo warhead design. Basically, there’s a reason all these folks are going to shaped charge warheads and it’s primarily because of the enhanced penetration capabilities. Also the NEW blast/pressure effects on a subs hull still come into play because the warhead NEW is still basically the same (about 100 lbs NEW) with both types of warheads. Here’s a few short examples on the direction lightweight torpedo warhead design has been headed for a long time;

            – The oooold MK44 torpedo had one variant shaped charge warhead waaaay back when and here’s what it could do; Excerpt – “Package offered an extensive upgrade, replacing the warhead with a 45 kilogram shaped charge device capable of penetrating 40 millimeters of steel behind a 1.5 meter water filled double hull”.

            – MK 50 lightweight torpedoes all had shaped charge warheads.

            – The Brit Sting Ray lightweight torpedo; Excerpt – “US Mk 44 torpedoes were purchased for the Royal Navy in the 1960s to fill this role, and later replaced by US Mk 46 torpedoes. The original Sting Ray warhead concept was for a simple omnidirectional blast charge. However, studies in the 1970s showed that this would be inadequate against the large double-hulled submarines then entering service. A directed energy (shaped charge) warhead was used in the production weapon. The Sting Ray torpedo with Shaped Charge warhead entered service in 1983”.

            – French MU90 Impact is an advanced lightweight anti-submarine torpedo; Excerpt – “It uses a shaped charge warhead that can penetrate any known submarine hull, in particular Soviet double hull designs, while remaining just as deadly in shallow waters where conventional warheads are less effective”.

          • NavySubNuke

            The “legacy” warhead is the Mk 46 warhead though, at least according to all the sources I can find:
            A) There is a 2016 DOTE report that states: “The MK 54 combines the advanced sonar transceiver of the MK 50 torpedo with the legacy warhead and propulsion system of the older MK 46. MK 46 and MK 50 torpedoes are converted to an MK 54 via an upgrade kit”
            Report title: MK 54 Lightweight Torpedo and Its Upgrades Including High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Capability
            B) There is also a Raytheon Pamphlet that states: “The MK 54 program leverages the most modern torpedo technologies from the MK 50 and MK 48 ADCAP (advanced capability) programs. It also utilizes the proven MK 46 warhead and propulsion subsystems. The result is a low-cost weapon that meets all performance requirements for littoral warfare.”
            Raytheon -> capabilities -> products -> Mk54
            C) The US Navy fact file also states:
            For Mk 54 – Warhead: 96.8 pounds, high-explosive
            For Mk 50 – Warhead: Approx. 100 pounds conventional
            For Mk 46 – Warhead: 96.8 pounds, high-explosive

          • waveshaper1

            Yep, there’s lot of confusing info out there and I’ve been out of the loop for a long time. IMHO, I can’t understand why we wouldn’t go with shaped charge warheads for all our lightweight torpedoes, it makes no sense. Shaped charge warheads = more bang for the buck, ensuring/guaranteeing maximum sub hull penetration/breaching and still getting the same level of blast/pressure damage for an equivalent NEW warhead.

          • NavySubNuke

            You are correct in general principal but there are still some downsides to the shaped charge. In the end, after considering the the two alternatives the determination was made that the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze and the Navy went with the “traditional” warhead even though it acknowledged the lethality problems associated with it.
            Some may claim that “the instant any lightweight torpedo detonates on any submarine, it is immediately crippled, if not on its way to the bottom” but that isn’t true even with the shaped charge. And the shape charge has a larger chance of “missing” as well, particularly when it comes to small SSKs which have bottomed (and don’t require the shaped charge to penetrate the hull anyway).

          • NavySubNuke

            Oh and the next move is actually to deploy anti-torpedo torpedoes…. you don’t need armor if you can shoot their bullets.
            We’ve already deployed/are deploying them on carriers. Russia claims to be doing the same with some of their ships (God only knows what that means or how true it is of course).

      • Scott

        More boom is always better.

        • Duane

          Not for ASW.

          The most effective ASW weapon in World War Two had the smallest boom – the hedgehog, with a mere 35 pounds of torpex. The success rate for hedgehog attacks (percentage of attacks required to get a kill) in the war was five times higher than with depth charges. It only took one or two hits by the hedgehogs to sink a sub.

          The most successful American sub killer in WW Two was a DE, the USS England … sank six Japanese subs in 13 days, using only hedgehogs. The ship won a Presidential Unit Citation for that work.

        • More boom is generally just a way to cover for poor weapon design. It takes very little to kill or cripple most targets providing you can deliver it precisely.

      • Bubblehead

        Those huge double hulled subs sound good on paper, but not so much in real life. It would be nice to survive a torpedo hit, don’t get me wrong. Im sure the submariners appreciate that, but that sub is out of the fight for a long time regardless. Those huge Soviet subs were already loud as h-ll, how loud do you think they would be with a significantly damaged hull?

        After a torpedo hit, the sub would have 2 choices assuming it survived. Make a B-line to the nearest safe port or face certain destruction.

        • Duane

          Yup – exactly.

          • NavySubNuke

            You realize he just contracted everything you said right?
            Probably not since you have no idea what you are talking about but, if you did you would realize that.

        • NavySubNuke

          Agreed – especially on the noise – but that doesn’t mean I would want to be in the water on another submarine with one.
          No big deal for a P-8 to hit them 3 or 4 times but do you really want to take the time to put 4 LWT into them from another submarine?

          • Duane

            The instant any lightweight torpedo detonates on any submarine, it is immediately crippled, if not on its way to the bottom. Using a “super ASROC” (as I have been talking about developing and deploying, throughout this thread, which itself is about options for future SSN weapons enabled by use of the vertical launch tubes), the target sub will not know where the attack came from (a sub, a surface ship, or an aircraft) because this weapon will enable attacks by any of the above, and from long range, far beyond the sensor range of the targeted submarine. So the target sub will not be in a position to launch a counter-attack, or to even know what to attack.

            The problem with using a relatively short range torpedo that swims all the way from killer to target, a Mk 48 torpedo automatically gives away not only its own position but also the firing position of the sub that fired it, which will by definition be within the detection range of any well equipped enemy submarine. So a Mk 48 is really not an ideal ASW weapon.

            As to your stated concern, it really matters not if the attacking SSN with a Super ASROC wants to wait around for a confirmed kill, or will just go ahead and launch a couple more, either initially or after waiting for the results. The attacker can take all the time in the world to complete its attack to a confirmed kill. The results of the attack will be measured by a sonar search by a sono-buoy launched by the aircraft that initially found the target in the first place, and is still circling above. If the sounds indicate the target is crippled but still intact,just hit’em again, and again if necessary.

          • NavySubNuke

            “The instant any lightweight torpedo detonates on any submarine, it is immediately crippled, if not on its way to the bottom.”
            Maybe in Duane world, but that is not how it works in reality.

      • Duane

        All submarines are double hulled – a real submariner would know that. There is the outer hull, and the inner pressure hull, with the water filled (when submerged) ballast tanks comprising the volume in between.

        You do not understand how ASW munitions actually work, obviously.

        When an explosive warhead detonates on contact with the outer hull, it creates a humongous pressure wave. Water being incompressible, all of that energy is focused against the air filled low pressure side – the inside of the pressure hull … and creates massive structural damage at depth. Blown seals, broken pressure hull penetrations, machinery damage, and injury and death to the submariners inside. The incompressible water filling the void between the outer hull and the inner hull transmits 100% of that shockwave to the inner pressure hull, and everything attached to it, and to all the equipment and sailors inside.

        I assume you’ve probably watched “U-571” or “Das Boot” which did a fairly effective job of illustrating the tremendous shock waves created inside a sub by nearby depth charges. But that kind of shock is nothing, I repeat nothing, compared to the shock wave created by any contact detonation.

        The most effective ASW weapon by far in World War Two was the Hedgehog, developed by the Brits and later adopted by the US Navy. It had a mere 35 pound warhead. It only took one or two hits to kill any sub. The kill rate for Hedgehogs was approx. 5 times higher than that of far heavier depth charges.

        • NavySubNuke

          You should google “wikipedia submarine hull” sometime so you an learn about how submarine pressure hulls work. It even has a blurb about the Typhooon having multiple pressure hulls. I think it would help clear up some of your obvious confusion about how pressure hulls are different from free flood/super structure areas.

          • Duane

            Unlike you, I am a real qualified submarine veteran and nuclear trained and qualified operator. Your comments in this thread here reveal your obvious ignorance of how submarines are designed, built, operated, and destroyed. You should give it up before you embarrass yourself here much further us amongst actual Navy and attack submarine veterans.

          • NavySubNuke

            Oh poor Duaney doesn’t even realize what an 1120 is.
            Listen sweetie, while you were sitting in maneuvering staring at a panel and shimming I was busy babysitting you and earning my Gold dolphins.
            I understand your complete lack of knowledge and experience on the tactical side means you don’t understand this kind of thing but you should trust those of us here who do.

        • NavySubNuke

          Deleting replies out of embarrassment again Duaney boy? Come on now, I thought you had learned your lesson on that….
          “All submarines are double hulled – a real submariner would know that. There is the outer hull, and the inner pressure hull, with the water filled (when submerged) ballast tanks comprising the volume in between.”
          Wow so in Duane-world the ballast tanks exist between this mysterious inner and outer hull? That sure is interesting. Here in the real world, for US submarines which have a single hull that actually isn’t the case at all. The ballast tanks are at the front and back end of the ship and run the entire height of it for many of the tanks, though some are more like half depending on where the pressure hull is. And trust me it is pretty scary climbing up the rusty ladder built into the side of them and inspecting inside after the yard birds are done doing maintenance and you are the officer assigned to close out a tank and make sure they didn’t leave anything behind. We actually found a fire extinguisher once that was left behind after a welding job for instance.
          I realize based on the single tour you did back in the engine room you wouldn’t have been exposed to this aspect of ship construction but as an 1120 I was. The only tank I (mercifully) didn’t have to crawl into and close out during my time on board was a SAN tank.
          Given your gross conceptual error on how submarines are constructed I can see why you are confused about how double hulled Russian submarines work. You should just trust Bubblehead and I when we say that those big double hulled monsters can survive a torpedo hit.”

        • NavySubNuke

          You should google “wikipedia submarine hull” sometime so you an learn about how submarine pressure hulls work. It even has a blurb about the Typhooon having multiple pressure hulls. I think it would help clear up some of your obvious confusion about how pressure hulls are different from free flood/super structure areas.

  • ElmCityAle

    “…We brought back Harpoon (anti-ship missile) so we can give the commanding officers this engagement-breaking weapon” – you brought back an old weapon which the US Navy has neglected for decades, not even using the updated versions which some allies have purchased. And now, it’s a desperate game of catch-up and CYA.

    • Duane

      Well, as old as the Harpoon is, it still provides a 60 mile range that no Mk 48 can match, so it is a big improvement. It is a fact that the Navy will adapt other newer and more capable ASCMs to the submarine fleet, including the new Naval Strike Missile (105 mile range, stealthy, far superior targeting system, and effective countermeasures) which can fit inside a 21 inch tube also, just like Harpoon. With the VPMs it opens up a much wider range of available missiles, such as LRASM and the new navalized (i.e, equipped with targeting systems for use against moving targets) Tomahawks that are being developed and produced by Boeing as we speak..

      Don’t overstate things, there is nothing “desperate” about our SSN capabilities today -we have by far the most capable and lethal attack submarines on the planet. The Navy stopped deploying submarine launched ASCMs in the late 90s when the Cold War and the Soviet threat were long gone. Now the Chinese have built themselves a much larger and more capable surface fleet, so we are adjusting our fleet capabilities in response. It’s to be expected.

      • ElmCityAle

        My comment about the Harpoon was meant more broadly than the SSN force; actually, it’s more relevant to the surface forces. Yes, NSM is coming online soon – in limited numbers – which will start the process of catching up for decades of neglect in this area of weapons systems.

  • Marauder 2048

    TACMS or PrSM please.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    A Virginia-class Block 5 VPM / SSGN with tubes full of LRASM, SM-6, & TLAM Block IVs make the Virginia-class SSGN the baddest ASuW/Strike platform in the seas and finally give the Oscars and Yasens a run for their money.

    • NavySubNuke

      To be fair our current SSGNs are head and shoulders above the Oscars and Yasens/Sevs.
      And the Atlantic Oscars and Yasens/Sevs will need to survive the transit out through the GAP to be relevant should the balloon go up.
      Those that are deployed and South of the Gap when the balloon goes up are going to be a b*tch to track down and kill but they will also be operating alone and unsupported under total EMCON which is no easy feat.

  • Duane

    Your “knowledge” is obviously nil, and your constant fraudulent use of a screen name that implies you are a Navy nuke is nothing but stolen valor fraud. But go ahead, keep revealing your ignorance of how submarines are designed, built, operated, and destroyed. You refute your claims of expertise with every single comment you make about submarines.

    • NavySubNuke

      LOL. Sure Duane — just go ahead and keep imagining that the ballast tanks are located between the inner and outer pressure hulls of our submarines and fill with water.
      Just keep in mind that one of us has actually crawled around inside a ballast tank in dry dock and the other has not.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        He really likes to flag your comments huh? He did that to me early this year, he went and flagged every single comment I made, ridiculous.

        • NavySubNuke

          Yup, he has a great mix of over developed pride and under developed intelligence, makes it very entertaining to point out when he is wrong.

    • NavySubNuke

      It really is funny the way you constantly lie about me and then delete all my replies. I really can’t believe that a whiny little b*tch like you actually survived on a submarine. I know you were just a nuke and spent your time in maneuvering being babysat with the EOOW right there but it is still remarkable.

  • RunningBear

    A possible evolution of the VPM could be a reload/ underway. Similar to the rotary launcher on the bombers, an internal “dry vertical access cell” could be created to allow for reload/ change of missiles in each chamber of the “rotating” VPM. This would increase the flexibility (land attack, shipping, anti-air, UUV, SOF vessel, etc.) and extend the sub patrol capability with stored onboard missiles/ vessels. Perhaps even reduce the number of VPMs required (3-ish); one “Hot”, one standby and one reloading.
    Fly Navy

  • Duane

    Really – show us the research that proves that lightweight torpedoes don’t cripple, if not kill, submerged submarines. And that the US Navy and all NATO navies that have standardized on the various lightweight torpedoes in use for decades are simply too stupid to understand what you and alone have proved beyond a doubt.

    Of course, your complete sense of infallibility and utter superiority over every body else in the naval world, your being a Legend in Your Own Mind, to quote Dirty Harry, is in fact legendary here in the threads at USNI.

    If only the rest of Humanity knew as much as the fraudster who claims to be a Navy nuke without being nuclear trained and qualified.

    • NavySubNuke

      LOL. Oh sweetie, as I said in an earlier post that you flagged out of embarrassment the problems of LWT lethality have been known about for years. That is why the MK-50 received a shaped charge warhead. Turns out it didn’t matter which is why the Mk-54 pulled through the Mk-465 warhead.

  • bobbymike34

    Need a new CPGS weapon with hyper-accurate BGV