Submarines: May 8, 2000


The U.S. Navy is building a new class of nuclear attack subs. The previous Seawolf boats, a cold war project, came in at $2 billion dollars each. With the cold war over, the Seawolf was considered too expensive and not suitable for the post cold war world. The Virginia class cost only $1.1 billion each. They are 377 feet long and 34 feet wide. Their displacement of 7,800 tons versus 9,150 for the Seawolfs. The first Virginia will enter service in 2004. Weapons will include 17 Tomahawk cruise missiles in vertical tubes, and four torpedo tubes. The Virginia's are equipped to carry and deliver SEAL commando teams as well as robotic mini-subs. The Virginia will be quieter than any other sub in service, yet will have the most sensitive detection equipment ever sent to sea in a submarine.


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