The Navy has developed a Tactical Submarine Evolution Plan that looks at rapidly inserting capability upgrades into the Virginia-class attack submarine mid-contract and considers long-term undersea warfare priorities such as converting the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) production line into a guided-missile submarine (SSGN) line in the late 2030s. Read More
With unmanned vehicles integral to the future of the Littoral Combat Ship, the Future Surface Combatant and the next-generation SSN(X) attack submarine, the Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office is testing as many unmanned vehicles – both programs of record and prototypes alike – as fast as it can to learn lessons and field systems to the fleet. Read More
The Navy submarine community is pushing hard to make progress on unmanned underwater vehicle development and operations, which lag behind unmanned aerial vehicles, through prototype testing and the creation of a UUV squadron. Read More
This post has been updated to include additional information about potential advanced propulsion system development.
The Navy won’t begin buying its next-generation attack submarine until 2034, but researchers are already hard at work on two key components of the SSN(X) program: an advanced propulsion system for quieter operations, and the ability to control multiple unmanned underwater vehicles at once for extended influence. Read More
The U.S. Navy is starting early preparation work to design a new nuclear attack submarine to replace the Virginia-class boats (SSN-774) in the 2030s. The new attack boat would become operational in 2044 after the last Block VII Virginias are built. Read More